MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH INSTITUTE

aka MSRI   |   Berkeley, CA   |  www.msri.org

Mission

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) exists to further the advancement and communication of fundamental knowledge in mathematics and the mathematical sciences, the development of human capital for the growth and use of such knowledge, and the cultivation in the larger society of awareness and appreciation of the beauty, power and importance of mathematical ideas and ways of understanding the world.

Ruling year info

1980

Director

David Eisenbud

Deputy Director

Helene Barcelo

Main address

17 Gauss Way

Berkeley, CA 94720 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-2650833

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (U05)

Mathematics (U34)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute brings together emerging and leading minds in mathematics, in an environment that promotes creativity and the interchange of ideas. MSRI also serves a wider community through the development of human scientific capital, providing postdoctoral training to extraordinary young scientists and increasing the diversity of the research workforce. The Institute advances the education of young people with conferences on critical issues in mathematics education. And MSRI has created a national "math circles" movement of small organizations teaching and engaging children in math as a hobby.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Research

MSRI features two focused programs each semester, attended by foremost mathematicians and postdocs from the United States and abroad. The Institute temporarily becomes a world center of activity in those fields.

Population(s) Served

MSRI's activities in education include not only workshops for professional mathematicians and educators but also student education at many levels, from postdocs and doctoral students to K-12 students.

Population(s) Served

MSRI's public programs aim to make mathematics accessible and exciting to those outside the field, showcasing the beauty and importance of math to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage of funding for program members (long-term visitors, including postdoctoral fellows) that was received from private funds

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Research

Context Notes

In 2015-16, the support for program members totaled $2.3 million of which 58% came from the National Science Foundation, 9% from the National Security Agency, and 33% from private funds.

Percentage of funding for workshop participants (short-term visitors, excluing summer graduate schools) that was received from private funds

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Research

Context Notes

In 2015-16, the support for workshop participants totaled $400,000 of which 87% came from the National Science Foundation and 13% from private funds.

Percentage of workshop participants who were female

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Research

Context Notes

Of the workshop participants in 2015-16, 32% were female.

Percentage of workshop participants who were U.S. citizens or permanent residents and reported being a member of an under-represented minority

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Research

Context Notes

Fifty-eight percent of the workshop participants in 2015-16 were U.S. citizens or permanent residents, of which 18% reported being a member of an under-represented minority.

Number of participants who attended the Critical Issues in Mathematics Education (CIME) series of workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Education

Context Notes

This series of workshops (CIME) is designed to engage professional mathematicians with education researchers, teachers and policy makers to improve mathematics education.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Research
• Be the premiere collaborative research institution to catalyze advances in mathematics.
• Foster the next generation of leaders and develop new connections between mathematical fields.
• Inspire and nurture the next generation of mathematicians. In particular, be the premiere destination for postdocs and very advanced graduate students in the fields of the programs.
• Remove barriers to participation in mathematical sciences research.

Education
• Create awareness of the responsibility of professional mathematicians in the mathematics education of teachers and action on this issue.
• Lead the math community in building a more diverse generation of research mathematicians.
• Support undergraduate math education leading to mathematical sciences careers.

Public Outreach
• Present Mathematics as fun, beautiful, powerful, and actively exploring, not static.

Diversity
• Lead the math community in building a more diverse generation of research mathematicians.
• Serve as a role model for best practices in intentional inclusivity and promoting excellence in mathematical research.

Visibility
• Be globally known as the go to place for mathematical research

Raising resources
• Insure that the leadership and their successors are able to effectively attract resources to the Institute.
• Aim for an endowment level in excess of $125 million.

Research
• Bring junior and senior researchers together to focus on the most important developments in mathematics.
• Use the power of the semester-long program format to build networks and advance mathematics nationally and internationally.
• Develop methods to spread the creative openness of MSRI to the broader mathematical community.
• Provide superb mentoring opportunities for the intellectual and professional development of postdocs and very advanced graduate students.
• Work to be inclusive, encouraging the participation of women and under-represented minorities.

Education
• Convene groups that can effectuate change and improvement in math awareness and the performance of teachers and students.
• Be an anchor for the participation of the community of research mathematicians in diversity and pipeline issues.
• Support undergraduate math clubs, directed reading, and video lectures for undergraduates.
• Leverage the prestige of MSRI to legitimize activities through which professional mathematicians contribute their time and talents to mathematics education research.
• Maintain an agile ability to support excellent activities in K-12 math education as opportunities arise.

Public Outreach
• Use social media to reach both wide audiences and selected targets.
• Support public outreach activities with a focused organizational structure that would make the activities more visible and market them effectively.
• Embrace a broad framework connecting public outreach efforts with the arts (eg. artists in residence, celebrity engagements, competitions).
• Reach out to the broader scientific community, as well as the general public.
• Develop mathematicians' communication skills for communicating with the public.

Diversity
• Be an anchor for the participation of the community of research mathematicians in diversity and pipeline issues.
• Continue and expand on MSRI's pioneering role fostering diversity across the pipeline from K12 through Post PhD.
• Identify and address barriers and unconscious bias that reduce the participation of women and members of other under-represented groups in MSRI programs.

Visibility
• Tell the stories about magic of MSRI and the heroes who create it.
• Take the lead in developing a mathematical caucus in Congress.
• Get mathematicians in front of the public in bite-sized ways.
• Find public figures who will promote MSRI.
• Effectively harness MSRI's public outreach activity through branding.

Raising resources
• Build the advancement capacity in the board and the MSRI staff to achieve the fund-raising objectives of the institution.
• Dramatically expand the capacity of the MSRI network and community to support ambitious annual giving and endowment objectives.
• Establish strong math community support for the institution's approach and for the associated financial objectives.
• Raise annual giving and endowment funds at a rate of growth between 15-20% annually for the next 10 years.

MSRI is governed administratively by a Board of Trustees, that currently include both a Nobel Prize winner and a Breakthrough Prize winner. They oversee the Institute's strategy and assure its operational and financial welfare through the work of ten trustee committees.

The Board receives input from its Committee of Academic Sponsors (CAS) that represents over 100 of the leading mathematics research departments across the country.

A rotating committee of ten distinguished mathematicians has the responsibility for choosing and guiding our scientific programs. Since they serve only four-year terms — the committee's view of mathematics is constantly refreshed.

MSRI takes advantage of its close proximity to the University of California Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and collaborates nationally with organizations such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

MSRI is the world's premier center for collaborative research across the whole spectrum of the mathematical sciences.

MSRI is an acknowledged leader of activities for the public understanding of mathematics. These popular events include interviews with playwrights (Tom Stoppard, “Arcadia"; Michael Frayn, “Copenhagen"; David Auburn, “Proof"), musicians (Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Christopher Taylor) and public personalities (Funny Numbers with Steve Martin and Robin Williams, M*A*T*H with Alan Alda). These events are nationally distributed in a unique series of videos.

For over twenty-five years, MSRI has been one of the largest single projects of the Division of Mathematical Sciences of the National Science Foundation.

MSRI is the largest non-classified mathematics project of the National Security Agency, which supports the Institute as the best resource for strengthening the pool of mathematicians available to assist the government.

MSRI is one of the world's most sought-after and successful centers for postdoctoral training.

MSRI is the primary model for institutes in Canada, England, Russia, Korea, and Singapore.

MSRI's “VMath" archive of mathematical lectures in video is by far the world's largest. It contains talks by the majority of today's great mathematicians.

MSRI has hosted every Fields Medalist since the Institute was opened in 1982. (The Fields Medal is Mathematics' version of the Nobel Prize.)

MSRI is one of the few world centers involved in the entire spectrum of mathematical activity, with programs ranging from K–12 mathematics and public understanding of mathematics to the most advanced current research. MSRI leads the nation in the development of math circles for top tier students, as well as for students just learning to love and engage deeply in mathematics.

MSRI's physical plant, with its Simons Auditorium, over 40 offices, and striking views of San Francisco Bay, is one of the most desirable mathematics destinations in the world.

MSRI has the strongest program of outreach to minorities of any United States mathematics institute. Led by a committee of distinguished minority mathematicians, its successes range from the first Conference of African American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences, to residential summer programs for under-represented undergraduates considering careers in research, to after-school math programs in impacted school districts, and to the highly successful series of workshops held at the SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science) national conference to raise the awareness of upcoming MSRI programs in a group that might not otherwise participate in these activities.

MSRI has become a magnet for private philanthropic support of mathematics, as witnessed by the successful completion in 2006 of a $12 million capital campaign to add a new wing to the building, and a $15 million endowment campaign in 2013. The endowment is currently $21 million.

Financials

MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH INSTITUTE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Board of directors
as of 9/17/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Roger Strauch

The Roda Group

Term: 2013 - 2019


Board co-chair

Andrei Okounkov

Columbia University

Term: 2013 - 2018

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No