Industrial Problem Solving Workshops gather representatives from industry, academic mathematicians, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Participants work in teams, each of which studying a problem submitted by a company or a public or quasi-public institution. One of the goals of an IPSW is to provide companies and institutions with mathematical tools for solving problems. An IPSW also allows professors and students in the mathematical sciences (including statistics, actuarial sciences, optimization, differential equations, etc.) to analyze and solve concrete problems.
The 2017 Montreal workshop is organized by the Centre de recherches mathématiques, the Fields Institute, the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS), and CANSSI. It will take place within the framework of the Institutes Innovation Platform or IIP, a project of the three Canadian mathematics institutes funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The goal of the IIP is to create and foster collaborations between industry and university researchers in the mathematical sciences. The Montreal workshop is part of a Canadian tradition, since PIMS (based in Western Canada) started organizing such workshops almost twenty years ago (see www.pims.math.ca/industrial). In Toronto the Fields Institute is also organizing problem solving workshops (see for instance the site of the workshop that took place in August 2016).
The Canadian workshops have been designed on the model of the “study groups” pioneered by the University of Oxford (see www.maths-in-industry.org and click here for more information on this kind of workshop).