In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) introduced its Big Ideas initiative, calling for funding to further the research and ideas in science and engineering, and more specifically mathematics and statistics. The Big Ideas initiative will ignite research and discoveries for generations to come. NSF Chief Operating Officer Joan Ferrini-Mundy said with this funding we can, “advance these ideas, and efforts to develop the talented people who can pursue them, will push forward the frontiers of U.S.-based science and engineering, contribute to innovative approaches to solving some of the most pressing problems the world faces, and lead to unimagined discoveries that can change lives.”
With the NSF being the only contributing federal agency, there is a call for partnerships and collaboration between mathematical societies, scientist, professors, and students. By collaborating we can further the research and discoveries, as well as produce students who will one day be professionals well equipped to solve the world’s most pressing problems. It is important for societies and scientist to help the NSF’s Big Ideas by participating in workshops, funding, and communicating key research. We at SIAM, as a Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) member society, have endorsed the JPBM statement highlighting the role of mathematics in NSF's Big Ideas, complementing similar statements on the role of computing.