Visit SIAM Blogs!

Archive for September 2010

New Student Chapter Facebook Group

Representatives of the SIAM student chapters met at the 2010 SIAM Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh for a breakfast meeting with SIAM leaders and staff to ponder ideas and brainstorm strategies for raising awareness and impact. The interaction at the meeting was very good and many attendees requested that SIAM create an open forum for the chapters to share ideas throughout the year. As a result of the suggestion, SIAM formed a student chapters Facebook group. Information on how to join the Facebook group can be found at

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

ICIAM announces prizes for 2011

Awards of five prizes to be presented at the 2011 meeting of the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) in Vancouver, British Columbia, have been announced. Professor Rolf Jeltsch, President of ICIAM, announced the prize recipients on Monday.

Professor Emmanuel J. Candès of Stanford University is the recipient of the 2011 ICIAM Collatz Prize. He is being acknowledged for his exemplary work in numerical solution of wave propagation problems and compressive sensing, in addition to anisotropic extensions of wavelets. Candès is a professor of mathematics and statistics at Stanford University, on leave from the department of Applied and Computational Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology. A recipient of many awards, including most recently, SIAM’s George Pólya Prize, Candès is well known for his revolutionary research in the digital representation of wave signals and harmonic analysis. Funded by ICIAM member society GAMM, the Collatz Prize recognizes individual scientists under age 42 worldwide for outstanding research work in industrial and applied mathematics, and carries a cash award of $1000.

The 2011 ICIAM Lagrange Prize is awarded to Professor Alexandre J. Chorin of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for his fundamental and original contributions to applied mathematics, fluid mechanics, statistical mechanics, and turbulence modeling. Chorin was among the first to develop an algorithm for the numerical solution of Incompressible Navier-Stokes equation. Chorin is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior scientist with the Mathematics Group of Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division. The Lagrange Prize recognizes mathematicians for career-long contributions to applied mathematics and carries a cash award of $3000. It is funded by three member societies: SMAI, SEMA and SIMAI.

Professor Vladimir Rokhlin of Yale University has been selected as the recipient for the ICIAM Maxwell Prize in 2011. He is being recognized for his research in the area of fast multipole methods. His research has revolutionized the field of numerical electromagnetism for radar and molecular dynamics for chemistry, among others. A 2009 SIAM fellow, Rokhlin is Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at Yale University. Some of his noteworthy research accomplishments are in the areas of analysis-based fast algorithms, inverse scattering and approximation theory. Initiated and funded by ICIAM member society IMA, the Maxwell Prize is awarded for demonstrated originality in applied mathematics and carries a cash award of $1000.

The 2011 ICIAM Pioneer Prize goes to Professor James Albert Sethian of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is being recognized for the wide-ranging impact of his research on areas such as medical imaging and geophysics. Sethian has developed algorithms for medical scanning devices in imaging workstations; developed tools to solve equations that have applications in geophysics and tomography; and created accurate numerical methods of drop dynamics in inkjets. Sethian is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and also heads the Mathematics Group of Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division. First awarded in 1999, the Pioneer Prize was established, fittingly, for pioneering work introducing applied mathematical methods and scientific computing techniques to an industrial problem area or a new scientific field of applications. Carrying a cash award of $1000, the prize is funded by SIAM, an ICIAM member society.

Professor Edward Lungu of the University of Botswana will be awarded the ICIAM Su Buchin Prize for mathematical models developed by him for problems related to Africa, in addition to his significant contributions in developing teaching, research and organizational structures for applied mathematics in Southern Africa. Lungu is currently a professor of mathematics at the University of Botswana. He has been described as a “fundamental person” in the development of teaching and research in applied mathematics in Southern Africa, owing in part to his role as founder and leader of the Southern Africa Mathematical Sciences Association (SAMSA), and later of the African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI), better known as the Millennium Initiative. Funded by member society CSIAM, the Su Buchin Prize–carrying a cash award of $1000–provides international recognition of outstanding contributions in applied mathematics made by individuals to emerging economies and human development, particularly at the economic and cultural level in developing countries.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

BMSA Launches New Major Math 2025 Study

The Board on Math Sciences and its Applications (BMSA) launched a major new study assessing the current state of the mathematical sciences and emerging trends. The study began with a meeting of the panel at the National Academy of Science’s Keck Center on September 20 and 21, 2010.

The list of distinguished members of the panel for the study may be found at

The abstract for the NSF grant funding the study states the goals:

“The proposed study will produce a forward-looking assessment of the current state of the mathematical sciences and of emerging trends that will affect the discipline and its stakeholders as they look ahead to the quarter century mark. Specifically, the study will assess (a) the vitality of research in the mathematical sciences, looking at such aspects as the unity and coherence of research, significance of recent developments, rate of progress at the frontiers, and emerging trends; and (b) the impact of research and training in the mathematical sciences on science and engineering; on industry and technology; on innovation and economic competitiveness; on national security; and other areas of national interest. “

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

SIAM Student Chapter Activities Update

SIAM student chapters sponsored many exciting and diverse activities during the 2009-2010 academic year. Here are some examples of events that chapters organized on and around their campuses:

The California State University Stanislaus chapter participated in Campus Club Day where they had a booth to provide information and recruit members. Chapter activities included a guided tour of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and a presentation by LeanQuest Consulting on mathematics in industry in the field of optimization.

The Colorado School of Mines chapter had three guest speakers in its inaugural year including Amanda Hering, CSM, Katerina Kechris, Colorado School of Public Health, and Jeanne Atwell, Ball Aerospace. CSM Chapter also held a pie sale for Pi Day, a department picnic, and the 1st Annual CSM Pi-Mile Fun Run.

The Columbia University chapter organized a “math start-up meeting” at which four start-ups were invited to present their applied mathematics challenges. The spring meeting filled the engineering school’s largest auditorium and was mentioned in Scientific American, the New York Times, and Crain’s Business Daily.

The Illinois Institute of Technology chapter held a weekly intra-campus math competition open to all undergraduate students. Solutions were submitted via email and graded by chapter volunteers; the first person to submit the correct answer was awarded a cash prize.

The Louisiana State University chapter hosted members of the University of Illinois at Chicago chapter for a series of talks. The LSU chapter also organized informal discussions over breakfast with Max Gunzburger, Florida State University, and Fadil Santosa, Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications, when they visited LSU.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology chapter sponsored an applied mathematics colloquium in which Hassan Aref, Virginia Tech, gave a talk entitled “Point vortices, a classical mathematics playground.” The chapter also sponsored a high performance parallel scientific computing workshop on MPI and OpenMP.

The Old Dominion University chapter connected alumni with current students and faculty by inviting them to the chapter’s mathematics awareness conference. Alumni from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Credit Suisse Securities, and NASA Langley participated in the conference, offering networking opportunities for graduating students.

The Oregon State University chapter hosted Steven Keller, Boeing Company, who gave a talk entitled “Getting Math off the Ground,” and Apple Distinguished Scientist Richard Crandall who spoke on “Mathematical Focusing of Images.” The chapter collaborated with AWM to host a panel of actuaries from Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

The third annual Oxford University SIAM Student Chapter Conference attracted close to 100 participants and featured talks by Ian Stewart, University of Warwick, and Paul Bressloff, Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics. Students presented on topics such as statistics in medicine, fluid mechanics, and compressed sensing.

The Shippensburg University chapter established an applied math lecture series and co-sponsored the Cumberland Valley Math Modeling contest, a regional math contest that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to apply their math skills to real-world problems.

The Stanford University chapter held its annual Seminars on Current Research in Engineering and Applied Mathematics (SCREAM 2010) beginning with a special kick-off lecture on “Mathematics of Sports” by Joseph Keller in honor of this year’s Mathematics Awareness Month theme.

The SUNY New Paltz chapter held a weekly SIAM lecture series as well as their annual Integration Bee. The chapter also hosted SIAM Visiting Lecturer Philip J. Holmes, Princeton University, who presented “Does Math Matter to Gray Matter?”

The George Mason University chapter volunteered as judges and graders at the Regional MATHCOUNTS competition for over 400 middle school students.

The chapters at Shippensburg University, University of Delaware, George Mason University, and University of Pittsburgh teamed up to organize the first SIAM Mid-Atlantic Regional Applied Mathematics Student Conference at Shippensburg University, providing students an opportunity to share their research.

The University of California at Los Angeles chapter held a series of software engineering seminars as well as the Perspectives in Mathematics Seminar Series featuring a presentation on celestial mechanics by William Newman, Department of Earth and Space Sciences.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and University of Colorado at Boulder graduate chapters participated in the 2010 SIAM Front Range conference at the University of Denver. At UC-Boulder, scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory spoke about career opportunities and NASA’s research in GPS technologies.

The University of Graz chapter sponsored an interdisciplinary seminar course on “Creativity Through Free-Movement” and “Communication Beyond Words and Formulas,” based on theories which chapter vice-president Markus Muller consolidated from his outside-university experience in dance and movement and offering a new view on creativity and communication.

The University of Maryland at College Park chapter organized a student seminar series in which students gave talks about their current research; a graduate research competition including oral presentations, paper writing, and poster presentations; and the Annual Graduation Conference, which attracted over 100 participants.

The University of Trier chapter hosted several invited speakers and sponsored a field trip to the European Astronaut Centre at the European Space Agency in Cologne.

University of Washington held a student seminar series featuring research presentations in applied math, applied physics, mechanical engineering, computer science, as well as a presentation by Microsoft. The chapter held an hour-long Q&A session following the Applied Math Boeing lectures, offering students the opportunity to ask questions about topics such as career development and choosing a research advisor.

For information on forming a SIAM student chapter visit or contact Membership Manager Susan Whitehouse at or Membership Assistant Nancy Snell at

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

Nominate a 2011 SIAM Fellow!

Nominations for the 2011 Class of SIAM Fellows are being accepted now through November 1!

Support your profession by helping SIAM identify the members who have made the most significant contributions to our field. Nominate up to two colleagues who have demonstrated excellence in research, industrial or government work, educational activities, or any activity related to the goals of SIAM.

Fellows will be announced March 31, 2011 and recognized at the SIAM/CAIMS joint awards luncheon at the 7th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM 2011) in Vancouver, British Columbia. Each Fellow’s name will be published in SIAM News, as well as being listed permanently alongside his or her photograph on the SIAM website.

Visit for complete information and instructions.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

Math, computational science & green buildings: a video from AN10

Buildings consume nearly 40% of the world’s energy, significantly more than either the transportation or industrial sectors. Any comprehensive plan to reduce atmospheric carbon must include actions to reduce energy consumption in the building sector. At SIAM’s Annual Meeting, Dr. Clas Jacobson of United Technologies Research Center spoke about the current understanding of the options available to reduce energy use in buildings and highlighted the role of mathematics and particularly computational science in delivering low energy buildings to the market in cost-effective ways. Watch a video of our interview with him along with clips from his presentation:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

Computational biology in pharmaceutical clinical studies: a video from LS10

Alex Bangs of Entelos, Inc., in his talk, “From Targets to Populations to Individuals,” at the SIAM Conference on Life Sciences held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in July 2010 alongside the SIAM Annual Meeting, described new technologies that are being developed to combat the high failure rate of pharmaceutical clinical studies. Watch an interview with Mr. Bangs along with an overview of his presentation:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

Funding for math & computational science research: AN10 video

Representatives from various funding agencies discussed recent trends and future plans for funding research in computational and applied mathematics at the Funding Agencies Panel at SIAM’s Annual Meeting in July 2010. Watch an overview of the panel:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

Video from AN10: Geometry & music

What could be a better medium to communicate math to the public than the universal language of music? Watch a video of Dr. Dmitri Tymoczko making the connection between geometry and music with help from multimedia graphics and compositions by Chopin, Mozart and Schubert at the SIAM Annual Meeting in 2010:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

Watch an overview video on SIAM AN10

Watch an overview of SIAM Annual Meeting in 2010, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather