Fields CQAM Launches Network of Research and Training Labs

From left to right: Kim McAuley, Alec Jacobson, Thomas Hurd, Sri Namachchivaya, Pawel Pralat, and Matt Davison

Toronto, ON – On June 28th, 2018, the Fields Centre for Quantitative Analysis and Modelling (Fields CQAM), launched their 11 flagship laboratories at the Fields Institute’s Annual General Meeting.

Fields CQAM was created in response to a need in the province for a critical mass of high-quality personnel, trained in advanced quantitative methodologies and able to draw on knowledge from a broad range of disciplines, from mathematics to social sciences. This network of 11 research and training laboratories are at the heart of the centre, home to cutting-edge research and an expansive graduate training program.

Led by top researchers in a variety of areas Fields CQAM laboratories will work with industrial partners like Sanofi-Pasteur, RANK Software, and Nuralogix to solve commercial problems using applied mathematical research. “There are some fascinating mathematical problems that come out of industry that we will never know about if we do not talk to our colleagues in industry,” said Matt Davison, Dean of Westerns’ Faculty of Science and co-director of the Fields CQAM Financial Data Analytics Lab. “We have fantastically well-trained students in mathematics that need to understand how to apply their skills to practical problems in industry, and this gives them a training wheels environment to learn that.”

A subset of Fields CQAM lab directors walked launch attendees through some of the commercial problems they intend to tackle in their proposed research. Covering areas of strategic importance to the province, including artificial intelligence, finance, health, infectious disease, chemical processes, and anomalous events, their research is not only driving innovation forward, but also working to address the expanding need for data analytics and modelling by creating new training opportunities for students and professionals.

“Fields CQAM will provide opportunities for an increasing number of graduate students to work on applied problems brought to us or discovered with industry partners,” says Ian Hambleton, Director of the Fields Institute. “This will equip them with the skills-training and hands-on experience critically needed to help them, and ultimately Ontario’s companies, thrive in our competitive world economy.”

There is an estimated cost of $24.3 billion Canadian per year to the Ontario economy in foregone GDP from the skills gap, and Fields CQAM research and training labs aim to narrow this figure. Each lab’s integrated applied research and training program is focused on areas of interest to its partners, ensuring their graduates meet the skills needs of firms in areas of strategic importance to the province. Empowering students with advanced quantitative skills through participation in research, experiential learning internships, and graduate courses and workshops will facilitate their entry into positions in the public, private, and educational sectors.

Fields CQAM’s main objective is to meet the current needs of the province with its research and training program, as well as future challenges and the potential impacts that the research undertaken by its laboratories will have on shaping the fields of science and technology. “Fields CQAM is looking forwards,” said Huaxiong Huang, Director of Fields-CQAM. “Today’s research informs tomorrow’s innovation, and Fields CQAM is laying the groundwork for future applications of our research by not only developing the techniques and methodologies to drive forward technological innovation, but also by training the quantitative scientists to apply them.” By meeting Ontario’s immediate and long-term skills gap, Fields CQAM research and training labs will assist the province to become an internationally leading knowledge economy.

Missed the lab launch? Watch a recording of the event.