The prestigious Maths institute is planning to modernise its library and construct a hostel.

The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Taramani, which recently wrapped up its golden jubilee celebrations with scholarly debates on esoterica as quantum gravity, looking beyond the Nash Equilibrium or why accelerating electrons avoid each other, has plans for significant expansion over the next few years.

Central to the institute’s future plans are a major library upgrade and acquisition of land to construct a hostel. According to an Institute spokesman, the hostel project is key to future expansion for the IMSc, as the existing facilities are inadequate for the 165 students attached to various departments.

The library expansion plan, which is another important expansion proposal, will virtually double the existing 15,000 sq ft. The plan includes creating storage space for 70,000 books and 70,000 bound volumes, reading/seating space for about 200 users and a dedicated facility for walk-in users from University/colleges/schools to access,view and print online journals and other reading materials. The project also envisaged establishing a digitisation lab, archive unit and reprographic unit with self-service.

In fact, while laying the foundation for the library expansion project, P. Palaniappan, Higher Education Minister, promised to take up with the State Government, the Institute’s case for an adjacent plot of land for a hostel.

Founded in 1962 by physicist Alladi Ramakrishnan, who stated at the launch that the “pursuit of science is at its best when it is part of a way of life”, the IMSc is hailed as an important knowledge hub among the institutions of its kind which are funded by the Department of Atomic Energy.

Golden jubilee symposium

The institution’s advocacy of inter-disciplinary interactions has persisted in the scholarly events that marked its golden jubilee, which featured at least 12 international symposia and seven national instructional workshops for researchers. Important sessions included a master class from Prof. Ashoke Sen, Harishchandra Research Institute, Allahabad, on how holography could be used to define quantum gravity, and how recent work was approaching computations on black hole horizons.

Prof. T V Ramakrishnan (IISc, Bangalore) presented the challenge of understanding families of systems in which a large number of electrons could be mobile while being subjected to strong constraints that make them avoid each other. Harvard mathematician Prof. Benedict Gross walked the audience through a spectacular quest to unravel the cubic conundrum over centuries, from the work of Fermat in the 16th century to his own current research in collaboration with Prof. Manjul Bhargava of Princeton University, U.S. that has yielded probabilistic solutions.