Research Clusters at the IRMACS Centre
The Cluster Story
The IRMACS Centre was developed around an innovative vision of supporting interdisciplinary research in the computational sciences through the creation of clusters of research projects that cross disciplinary boundaries. A common underlying theme across all IRMACS projects is the foundational need for mathematical, statistical, or computational tools in their research. This interdisciplinary model has been phenomenally successful, with a range of exciting research clusters emerging since IRMACS' inception in 2005. IRMACS research clusters span a wide range of diverse areas, including bioinformatics, health science, criminology, and the performing arts.
IRMACS clusters continue to evolve, with clusters of clusters, or "meta-clusters", beginning to form as second generation artifacts of this innovative research model. An exemplar of such a meta-cluster is the Modelling of Complex Social Systems (MoCSSy) research program. Recently funded by an SFU Community Trust Endowment Fund (CTEF) research grant for five years, this research program unifies the computational crimminology, health science, and core mathematical, statistical, and computational modelling clusters into a new research initiative. This exciting research initiative is an example of the benefits of the IRMACS interdisciplinary research model. Such a research cluster would simply not have occured without the confluence of the diverse research expertise that came together in IRMACS, the physical space that IRMACS provides in housing this research group, the technical infrastructure to enable this research, and the technical expertise to support this initiatives increasing computational, collaboration, and visualization needs. This combination of research expertise, infrastructure, and support is unique in Canada to the IRMACS Centre.