The Center for Applied Probability (CAP) was formally established in late 1993 after some years of ad hoc operation. Activities have included the organization of:
- Fifteen successful Applied Probability Day (APD) meetings (Spring 1992-present) with high profile speakers,
- Fifteen substantial Workshop on Mathematical Finance conferences (Fall 1994-present), bringing together practitioners from the finance industry and academics from a diversity of different schools and departments,
- A Semester of Probability "Probability Towards 2000" in the Fall of 1995 that included an international symposium by the same name,
- A Stochastic Networks Workshop: Stability and Rare Events,
- Summer School in Applied Probability
- Various short courses on topical areas,
- Educational Programs,
- CAP-Springer-Verlag Volumes,
- A CAP Colloquium series in which invited speakers give a one-hour talk.
The objective of the Center is to provide an umbrella under which diverse research and educational activities in probability and its applications can be focused and supported, especially at Columbia University, but with a view to local, national, and international visibility.
In 1996 Columbia University's Center for Applied Probability (CAP) was awarded by the National Science Foundation a Group Infrastructure Grant of $1,000,000 for five years.
The winning proposal, “CAP: Infrastructure Support for an Interdisciplinary Research Center,” outlined four application ar eas (mathematical and computational finance, stochastic networks, logistics and distribution, and population dynamics), and four methodological areas (control and optimization, stochastic analysis, numerical methods, and statistical inference), with exten sive cross linkage, as CAP's focal areas for building research and educational programs.
The proposing team was led by Chris Heyde and David Yao, and includes Sid Browne, Joel Cohen, Awi Federgruen, Paul Glasserman, Ioannis Karatzas, Perwez Shahabuddin, Larry Shepp, and Karl Sigman. Their many honors and awards include: Membership in the U.S. National Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Science, MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, George B. Pegram Distinguished Fellowship, Pitman Medal, Hannan Medal, Lyle Medal, Paul Levy Prize, IEEE Distinguished Scientist Award, Disting uished Statistical Ecologist Award, Mindel C. Sheps Award, Mercer Award, Presidential/NSF Young Investigator Awards, NSF Faculty Career Award, and George E. Nicholson Awards. Jointly, the team holds over 30 positions on the editorial board of more than a dozen leading journals in applied probability and related fields, including Advances in Applied Probability, Annals of Applied Probability, Journal of Applied Probability, Management Science, Mathematical Finance, Operations Research, Queueing Systems, an d SIAM Journal of Control and Optimization.
Additional funding was provided by Columbia University's Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the Dean's Office of the Graduate School of Business and the Dean's Office of the School of Engineering and Applied Science