History of the establishment of the MSC
The Research Institute for Electronic Science (RIES) at Hokkaido University has been establishing a unique position to encourage collaborations between different fields, such as mathematics and experimental science. In addition, the department of mathematics in Hokkaido University has been asserting the importance of collaborations between mathematics and other scientific fields, which was emphasized in the activity of the 21st century COE program “mathematics of nonlinear structures and singularities.” Under these circumstances and according to the suggestion of the RIES and the department of mathematics, the Research Center of Integrative Mathematics was established and had been run from April 2008 to March 2015. In this center, investigators from other areas in Hokkaido University, who are interested in mathematics and the related fields, worked closely together and publicized their research outcomes on both the domestic and international levels. Furthermore, the Research Center of Integrative Mathematics had provided supports to strengthen the activities of mathematical education. This center had also been playing a role to unify knowledge in various scientific fields by establishing the notion that mathematics is a common language of sciences.
Since then, it was clear that this type of approach can highly enhance the collaborations between different fields, which then led to the starting of the 4th Science and Technology Basic Plan “The Innovation Unit of Mathematics” in MEXT in August 2011. With these backgrounds we rebuilt the center as “Research Center of Mathematics for Social Creativity” (MSC) to enhance our feature, i.e., the ability to propel the collaborations between mathematics and distinct fields. The MSC has been established since April 2015, which consists of not only researchers associated with the MSC, but also researchers from other research areas in Hokkaido University.