Archive for May 2011

Mathematically ranking ranking methods

In a world where everything from placement in a Google search result to World Cup eligibility depends on ranking and numerical ratings of some kind, it is becoming increasingly important to analyze the algorithms and techniques that underlie such ranking methods in order to ensure fairness, eliminate bias, and tailor them to specific applications.

In a paper published this month in the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, authors Timothy Chartier, Erich Kreutzer, Amy Langville, and Kathryn Pedings mathematically analyze three commonly-used ranking methods.  “We studied the sensitivity and stability of three popular ranking methods: PageRank, which is the method Google has used to rank web pages, and the Colley and Massey methods, which have been used by the Bowl Championship Series to rank U.S. college football teams,” explains Langville. Read the rest of this entry »

Enter our social media raffles to win a SIAM book!

SIAM will be raffling off a variety of classic and new books through its Twitter and Facebook pages. Follow us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook to keep abreast of books as they become available for our social media raffles.

How to win?

Re-tweet our #SIAMBookRaffle tweets with the included hashtag or “like” our Facebook raffle statuses to be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win. Winners will be randomly selected and notified at the end of the raffle.

Our first raffle will begin this week in advance of the SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems, so stay tuned!

Ken Golden represents SIAM at Coalition for National Science Funding Exhibition

On May 11, the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) hosted its annual exhibition where mathematicians, scientists and engineers display research supported by the National Science Foundation for Members of Congress and their staff. SIAM was represented at this year’s CNSF Exhibition by Ken Golden of the University of Utah. Golden’s display focused on the mathematics of melting polar ice caps and how modeling of composite materials can lead to a better understanding of climate change, bone density, and high-tech aircraft coatings.

Golden spoke with several Members of Congress about his research, including Chaka Fattah (D-PA) who represents the Philadelphia district in which SIAM headquarters is located.  Prior to the exhibition, Golden also spoke with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) about his research interests and the importance of mathematics funding.

Doug Arnold talks math and golf at Drexel

SIAM Past President Douglas Arnold was in Philadelphia earlier this week delivering talks as part of Drexel University’s Distinguished Lecture Series. In the first of the annual series of lectures held on May 11, “Mathematics that swings: the math behind golf,” Arnold described the many aspects of the game of golf that can be understood and improved by mathematical modeling and analysis. Using several models ranging from simple algebra to advanced computational techniques, he demonstrated the relevance of mathematics on a golf course, reinforcing that math is indeed everywhere.

Arnold immediately captured the attention of the packed auditorium with a shot from a Masters tournament commercial of golfer Phil Mickelson swinging his club; barely discernible but very accurate mathematical equations floated from the swing, with the voiceover emphasizing that “math and science are everywhere.” Read the rest of this entry »

Results of inaugural SIAM Member-Get-A-Member campaign contest.

At the end of 2010, SIAM initiated a new Member Get a Member program to encourage SIAM members to invite their colleagues to join SIAM. To launch the new program, SIAM held a contest. For every member who referred a colleague who subsequently joined SIAM as a new member between November 8, 2010 and March 31, 2011, both the person making the referral and the new member were entered into a drawing to win a prize. The drawing was held April 7, 2011. The following names were randomly selected from all those eligible to win a prize: Read the rest of this entry »

Have an outstanding colleague? Nominate them for a SIAM Prize!

The SIAM community needs no convincing of the significance of study and research in applied mathematics and computational science.  Vital to the community is the acknowledgment of scientists and the work they do, benefiting this comprehensive field and its related areas in innumerable ways.

Recognizing deserving members of the community encourages our society to grow. Attracting young researchers to STEM fields and promoting the relevance of mathematics among the larger population depends on recognizing exemplary research contributions and the effective communication of the latest challenges and advances.

SIAM recognizes leading researchers and academicians through its extensive prize program, awarding more than a dozen honors each year, either alone or in partnership with its sister societies.  Whether an individual has contributed groundbreaking research in a single academic paper or made several significant discoveries in a range of areas, SIAM has a potential prize for them. Read the rest of this entry »

2013 is year of Mathematics of Planet Earth

In order to emphasize the role of mathematics in dynamic processes and natural and man-made systems, the year 2013 has been designated as the Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE). Initiated by the Canadian and U.S. mathematics institutes, the theme is now expanding to include world-wide participation from mathematics institutes and societies. The idea behind the theme is to educate the public on the relevance of math to these topics, promote study and research in the area, in addition to encouraging collaboration among various research groups and institutions.

Proposed activities include thematic programs, workshops, research collaborations, summer schools, media and public initiatives, K-12 education activities, and special issues in scientific journals. To learn more, visit the Mathematics of Planet Earth website, which has been created to serve as a focal point for planning and events. Organizations around the world are encouraged to participate.

Ingrid Daubechies in the media for Franklin Medal

SIAM’s flagship lecture, The John von Neumann Lecture, was established in 1959 for the recognition of outstanding and distinguished contributions to the field of applied mathematical sciences and for the effective communication of these ideas to the community. The prize is awarded and the lecture given each year at the SIAM Annual Meeting.

This year, in lieu of an annual meeting for SIAM, the distinguished recipient of the award, Dr. Ingrid Daubechies will deliver the 2011 von Neumann lecture at the 7th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics to be held in Vancouver this July.

Last week, Daubechies was among eight scientists honored by the Franklin Institute for achievement in the sciences and business. The awards are given annually by the institute and were part of the closing event for the two-week long science festival held in Philadelphia. Daubechies was the recipient of the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering. Read the rest of this entry »

Recipients named for the Fifth Annual SIAM Student Chapter Certificate of Recognition

SIAM Student Chapter Certificates of Recognition have been awarded to students who made outstanding contributions to their SIAM student chapters during the 2010 – 2010 academic year. This program recognizes the importance of student contributions in creating and sustaining exciting chapters, acknowledges students’ efforts within the greater SIAM community, and provides a noteworthy commendation for students to add to their records for career building. SIAM congratulates all of the recipients and thanks them for their contributions to the development and growth of SIAM student chapters. Click here to see photos of recipients. Read the rest of this entry »