“BCAM promotes Mathematics as a service to society”


Interview with LUIS VEGA
Director of BCAM (Basque Center for Applied Mathematics)


 “The Severo Ochoa award has meant a great deal of scientific recognition and prestige, as well as an economic fillip”


The Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM) is a world class interdisciplinary institute for Applied Mathematics, backed by the Department of Education, Language Policy and Culture of the Basque Government, the Diputación Foral of Vizcaya, the University of the Basque Country, and Ikerbasque. BCAM is the first centre for applied mathematics at national level, and the first centre in the Basque Country, in any discipline, to win the Severo Ochoa award. 

The Director of BCAM, Luis Vega, explains that the Severo Ochoa award has given the institute great scientific recognition and prestige, as well as a major economic fillip. “The funds we have received via the award is allowing BCAM to strengthen their existing lines of research by hiring young researchers (doctoral students and postdocs) and has also helped to strengthen the centre by creating new research lines, and (with the help of other, regional, institutions such as Ikerbasque (the Basque Foundation for Science) hiring senior researchers well known in their fields”.

The centre has taken up ambitious scientific-technological challenges, included in BCAM’s Strategic Plan, 2014-2018, divided among the areas of computational mathematics, mathematical models with multidisciplinary applications, mathematical physics, and data for science. “All this goes towards our aim of positioning BCAM as a reference point for mathematics, not only at national level, but also at world level. In parallel BCAM is proposing a further challenge, no less difficult, which is to push the transfer of the results of this excellent research to other ambits of science, technology, and industry, and to society, supplying tools which can help people to understand the world which surrounds us, and suggesting innovative solutions to problems in a number of different fields, with special emphasis on intelligent specialization in the Basque Country (bioscience, advanced fabrication, and energy ) and the development of Big Data”.

In addition, BCAM promotes “Mathematics in the service of society and bringing science closer, not only to the scientific-technological environment, but also to the general public”. BCAM offers a wide range of seminars, courses and workshops, but also organizes open days for students, and collaborates in innovative programmes of professional orientation. Finally BCAM collaborates with associations such as Aupatuz (the association of families with children with especially high capacity in the Basque Country) in organizing activities for school children, and contributes with general popular talks.

BCAM is represented in 100xCIENCIA by the researcher Luca Gerardo-Giorda, who participated in one of the forum sessions and gave a popular talk on science to La Palma school students.


Coordination of interviews: Verónica Martín


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100xCIENCIA Communicating Frontier Science. La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain), October 2015
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