A panel commissioned by the National Science Foundation's Division of Mathematical Sciences reports that several adverse trends threaten to undermine the United States' dominant position in world mathematics. The panel also notes that NSF policies significantly affect the strength of U.S. mathematics and hence the health of other sciences. The "Report of the Senior Assessment Panel for the International Assessment of the U.S. Mathematical Sciences" is NSF's first such international "benchmarking" or evaluation of any scientific field. Chaired by retired Lieutenant General William E. Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, the assessment committee consisted of mathematicians from Europe, Asia and Canada as well as from U.S. national laboratories, industry and elsewhere. NSF grantees were specifically excluded from the panel. The just-published report is part of NSF's response to the Government Performance and Results Act, and contains recommendations for how NSF should support mathematics.
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