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Archive for January 2011

Prominent SIAM members among AAAS Fellows

The AAAS Council elected 503 members as Fellows of AAAS in recognition of their contributions in the advancement of science and technology.

Several distinguished members of the SIAM community are among those chosen as Fellows under the Section on Mathematics:

Douglas Arnold, McKnight Presidential Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota, has made exemplary contributions to the applied math community. Selected as a SIAM Fellow of the Class of 2009 for his work in finite elements and the numerical analysis of partial differential equations, he is the immediate past president of SIAM, having served a two-year term from January 2009 to December 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

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Edinburgh SIAM Student Chapter Conference to be held February 1, 2011

The Edinburgh SIAM Student Chapter Conference will take place at on February 1, 2011 at the International Center for Mathematical Sciences in Edinburgh, Scotland.

This year’s conference will focus on the topics “Operations Research and Optimisation” and “PDE Modelling and Numerics”. Each topic will feature three talks by local students and one plenary talk. The plenary talks will be presented by Roger Fletcher from the University of Dundee  and Kevin Painter from Heriot-Watt University. There will also be a poster session, with the best poster receiving a prize.  Read the rest of this entry »

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A mathematical model for moving bottlenecks in road traffic

Serious traffic gridlocks, like the jam on Beijing’s national expressway a few months ago which brought vehicles to a halt for days, are a real-world issue needing attention. Unfortunately, such standstills are not uncommon in Beijing, or in other cities around the world.

Such incidents motivate the analysis of traffic to minimize similar events and provide insight into road design and construction, such as where to install traffic lights and toll booths, how many lanes to build, and where to construct an overpass or a tunnel. The goals of these analyses are to relieve congestion in high traffic areas, reduce the risk of accidents, and manage safety and security of motorists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Numb3rs creators accept JPBM Communications Award

Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton received the JPBM Communications Award at the 2011 Joint Math Meetings for their creation of the popular television series, NUMB3RS, which demonstrates the power and fun of mathematics and enlightens the public about the applications of math in everyday life.

Through six seasons on the CBS network, the series gave millions of viewers from varying backgrounds, a glimpse into how mathematical creativity and modeling can be used to solve crime.

Being unable to make it to the awards ceremony, Falacci and Heuton expressed their gratitude in a way they know best: by creating a video to communicate in their own words the inspiration behind weaving the power of math into a thrilling crime series. Read the rest of this entry »

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Solve a math problem, earn thousands for college

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

Earning a college scholarship by competing with hundreds of teams in solving a challenging, real-world problem using math is no mean feat.

And it’s not just about the money, as Andrew Das Sarma will tell you. “The money is very nice—we appreciate it—but the satisfaction of winning the competition and getting this far, doing so well against so many other really good teams: that’s really worth more to us than the money,” he said after his team from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD won the top $20,000 prize in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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4th Annual Oxford University SIAM Student Conference 9 February 2011

The 4th Annual Oxford University SIAM Student Conference will take place on Wednesday 9th February 2011 at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. The day consists of two plenary sessions, student talks and poster presentations. Plenary speakers are Alan Champneys, Professor of Applied Non-linear Mathematics at Bristol University, and Alain Goriely, Professor of Mathematical Modelling at Oxford. Students working in applied mathematics all over the UK are strongly encouraged to attend. Limited TRAVEL GRANTS are available on request. The day will culminate with a conference dinner at St. Anne’s College. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mark Sagar wins Scientific and Engineering Academy Award


Mark Sagar of Weta Digital, New Zealand, will be awarded a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award in 2011 for early and continuing development of influential facial motion capture retargeting solutions, used in films including Avatar and King Kong.  This will be Sagar’s second award following one he shared in 2010 with  Paul Debevec, Tim Hawkins and John Monos for the design and engineering of the Light Stage capture devices and the image-based facial rendering system  for character relighting in motion pictures.

A former medical researcher, Sagar began his segue into the field of visual effects technology by developing computer simulations of the human eye for doctors at Auckland University. Sagar holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from The University of Auckland, New  Zealand,  where he worked on Virtual Reality Surgical Simulation and  Anatomic Modelling with Peter Hunter’s Bioengineering group, now the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. Sagar was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of  Technology and prior to Weta, he worked as a Research and Development Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Sagar is an invited speaker at the SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE11), to be held February 28 – March 4, 2011, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Reno, Nevada, USA. The title of his talk is Reverse Engineering The Face.

Read the official press release from the Academy here.

More information about CSE 2011 can be found here.

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Summer 2011 Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Summer 2011 Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Undergraduates who are looking for summer research opportunities are encouraged to explore the National Science Foundation’s “Search for an REU Site” Web page at REUs in the mathematical sciences can be found by clicking on the “Mathematical Sciences” link. Students can also find research opportunities in the mathematical sciences that have been identified by press time, funded both by NSF and by other institutions, listed below.

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Summer School on Inverse Problems & Partial Differential Equations

The Research Training Group in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle will host a summer school June 20 to July 8, 2011, for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students on Inverse Problems & Partial Differential Equations. Students will attend lectures in the morning and problem sessions in small groups with mentors in the afternoon. On-campus accommodation and meals will be provided, plus a travel allowance of up to $500. For more information, go to Apply online by April 1.

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Employment Opportunities for Program Directors at NSF’s Division of Mathematical Sciences

The Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS), within the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Science Foundation (NSF), announces a nationwide search for mathematical sciences professionals to fill Program Director positions:

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Agency’s overall mission. To discharge this responsibility requires not only knowledge in the appropriate disciplines, but also a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent training in a field of the mathematical sciences, a broad knowledge of one of the relevant disciplinary areas of the Division of Mathematical Sciences, a knowledge of the general scientific community, skill in written communication and preparation of technical reports, an ability to communicate orally, and several years of successful independent research normally expected of the academic rank of associate professor or higher. Some administrative experience and experience working in teams are desirable. Appointees are expected to function effectively both within specific programs and as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams. Skills in multidisciplinary research are highly desirable. Read the rest of this entry »

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