The Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences, abbreviated as ASSMS, is an autonomous research institute affiliated with the Government College University Lahore, Punjab province of Pakistan. The institute is named after theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Professor Dr. Abdus Salam.
Professor Dr. Abdus Salam, the only Nobel Laureate in Physics from Pakistan, played an influential role in the Science policy of Pakistan, as he was responsible for the establishment of numbers of research and educational institutes in his country, particularly the prominent institute, the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH). Salam, an alumnus of the Department of Mathematics of the Government College, played a major role in updating educational curriculum of the College and also taught Mathematics there.
At the end of 2003, the Government of Punjab created and led the establishment of a center of excellence for the Mathematical Sciences, under the aegis of Government College University. The idea behind it is to create a world-class doctoral research institute in mathematics, but rooted in a developing country like Pakistan. This school is exclusively dedicated to higher education with no undergraduate program.
The established Board of Governors appointed Professor Dr. A. D. Raza Choudary, an emeritus professor from Central Washington University, as the founding Director General of ASSMS. Dr. Choudary had spent several years in Romania and Germany as a Ph.D student and postdoc, and spent his career in Mexico and USA. Using the financial support from the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (which at that time implemented the Foreign Faculty Hiring Program) and the Punjab Government, and fully exercised the autonomous status of ASSMS, Dr. Choudary made the important decision to look for Faculty entirely from outside Pakistan. Due to his extensive experience in Europe and America, Dr. Choudary managed to call a large group of very competent mathematicians, mostly from Eastern Europe. Some of the international scientists that have served as faculty in ASSMS are Josip Pečarić, Amer Iqbal, Alexandru Dimca, Olav Arnfinn Laudal, and Michel Waldschmidt.
Students were carefully selected. A first screening was carried through a written test, whose date was advertised in the major newspapers and several most frequently visited educational websites in Pakistan. About 350-450 students took the written test each year and about 50 students have been selected for an interview with an international board of examiners. On the basis of these interviews, about 20 students have been admitted each year. It can be said that the students at the ASSMS are the cream of the crop of those Pakistani students that stay in Pakistan.
ASSMS requires an intensive two-year course for all the students admitted. The first year is dedicated to basic university mathematics course, and in the second year students take more advanced and optional courses in diverse areas of mathematics. At the end of their second year, students choose one of the research groups at ASSMS, which are geometry, algebra, analysis, discrete mathematics, applied mathematics, and stochastic processes. The graduation rate at the end of fifth year is high.
The institution provides free-of-cost education to its students. It also provides financial assistance to its students.
Since its inception until early 2014, ASSMS has produced more than 100 Ph.D. This is more than twice the total number of Ph.Ds in mathematics produced by all other universities in Pakistan in the same period. It has produced more than 800 publications in ISI-indexed journals.
ASSMS has organized several international level workshops and conferences. Some of workshops at ASSMS has been chosen to have funding from the ICTP, UNESCO, and CIMPA (International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics). The signature conferences of ASSMS are its “World/International Conferences of Mathematics in the 21st Century” series, which has been held in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. The last conference has its proceedings published by the prestigious Springer Publishing by the title "Mathematics in the 21st Century"; with Pierre Cartier, A. D. R. Choudary (the then Director General of ASSMS), and Michel Waldschmidt as the editors.
ASSMS was chosen as Post-Doctoral research destination from Ph.D holders from prestigious institutions around the world. Young researchers from Russia, Italy, Romania, Indonesia, and other countries have become Post Doctoral Fellows in ASSMS. This is something that not used to happen in any mathematics institution in Pakistan before the existence of ASSMS.
On the recommendation of the Committee for Developing Countries (CDC) of the European Mathematical Society, ASSMS was labeled “Emerging Regional Centre of Excellence of the European Mathematical Society” (ERCE) for the period of 2011-2015. Furthermore, ASSMS and some other ERCE have form Network of International Mathematics Centres in 2013, where ASSMS was supposed to be its initial secretariat.
In high school level, ASSMS initiated the training camps for preparation and selection for the National Team of Pakistan to compete at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). ASSMS continued to organize these processes until IMO 2014. The National Team of Pakistan competed at IMO for the very first time in 2005, won its first medal in 2007, and won its first silver medal in its eighth participation.