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Using math to analyze movement of cells, organisms, and disease

Philadelphia, PA—A few recent SIAM journal papers you should know about:

  Traveling waves model tumor invasion

Cell migration, which is involved in wound healing, cancer and tumor growth, and embryonic growth and development, has been a topic of interest to mathematicians and biologists for decades.

In a paper published recently in the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, authors Kristen Harley, Peter van Heijster, Robert Marangell, Graeme Pettet, and Martin Wechselberger study a model describing cell invasion through directional outgrowth or movement in the context of malignant tumors, in particular, melanoma or skin cancer. Tumor cells move up a gradient, based on the presence of a chemical or chemoattractant – this process is called haptotaxis. Receptors on the exterior of cell walls detect and allow passing of the chemoattractant. Based on the locations of these receptors, cells determine the most favorable migration direction. Read the rest of this entry »

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ICERM Launches Mathbytes

The Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) at Brown University recently launched a fun short video series on mathematics called “Mathbytes.

 

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SIAM Unwrapped April 2014

News & announcements for the SIAM membership community

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Dear SIAM members,

Did you know that SIAM offers discounted member rates for members of other mathematical societies? SIAM has a reciprocity agreement with 12 societies: view the entire list. If you would like to change your membership to a “reciprocal” category, contact SIAM Customer Service at membership@siam.org.

Also, a reminder to all members (and especially students at this time of year) that if you are moving or intend to move, please update your records at my.siam.org. Read the rest of this entry »

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Eminent Members designated as SIAM Fellows

SIAM is pleased to announce the 2014 Class of SIAM Fellows. These distinguished members were nominated for their exemplary research as well as outstanding service to the community. Through their contributions, SIAM Fellows help advance the fields of applied mathematics and computational science.

SIAM would like to congratulate these 32 members of the community listed below in alphabetical order:

Mark Ainsworth, Brown University

John S. Baras, University of Maryland, College Park

Lorenz T. Biegler, Carnegie Mellon University

Åke Björck, Linköping University, Emeritus

Alfred M. Bruckstein, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Read the rest of this entry »

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SIAM names 2014 Class of Fellows

Each year, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) designates as Fellows of the society members who have made outstanding contributions to fields served by SIAM.

This year, SIAM is happy to recognize 32 members of the community for this honor. Fellows are nominated by peers for their distinguished contributions to the fields of applied mathematics and computational science and related disciplines.

The Class of 2014 Fellows, listed below in alphabetical order, will be recognized at the 2014 SIAM Annual Meeting to be held in Chicago in July. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Mathematics and Climate’ wins award

The book, Mathematics and Climate, published by SIAM last October, has been honored by the Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) as the best book of 2013 in the fields of meteorology, climatology, and atmospheric sciences.

Mathematics and Climate is a timely textbook with wide appeal. It is aimed at students and researchers in mathematics and statistics who are interested in current issues of climate science, as well as at climate scientists who wish to become familiar with qualitative and quantitative methods of mathematics and statistics. The authors emphasize conceptual models that capture important aspects of Earth’s climate system and present the mathematical and statistical techniques that can be applied to their analysis. Topics from climate science include the Earth’s energy balance, temperature distribution, ocean circulation patterns such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation, ice caps and glaciation periods, the carbon cycle, and the biological pump. Among the mathematical and statistical techniques presented in the text are dynamical systems and bifurcation theory, Fourier analysis, conservation laws, regression analysis, and extreme value theory. Read the rest of this entry »

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Applying math to cancer, climate, crime and cameras

  Some SIAM journal papers you should know about:

Improving radiation therapies for cancer mathematically

In a paper published in December in the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, authors Li-Tien Cheng, Bin Dong, Chunhua Men, Xun Jia, and Steve Jiang propose a method to optimize radiation therapy treatments in cancer patients.

Radiation therapy is one of the primary methods used for cancer treatment, along with chemotherapy and surgery. While doses of radiation are delivered to eliminate cancerous tissue, care is taken to keep radiation within acceptable levels so as not to affect neighboring tissues and organs. The most common type of therapy delivers high-energy radiation via a medical linear accelerator mounted on a rotating apparatus to adjust the direction, and a collimator to shape the beam of radiation. In the recently developed volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), beams continuously deliver doses as the delivery device rotates around the patient.  Enhancement of radiotherapy treatment is challenged by complexities of shape optimization, due to the mechanics of the equipment involved as well as the apertures of devices delivering the beams of radiation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Statistics research could build consensus around climate predictions

 Philadelphia, PA—Vast amounts of data related to climate change are being compiled by research groups all over the world. Data from these many and varied sources results in different climate projections; hence, the need arises to combine information across data sets to arrive at a consensus regarding future climate estimates.

In a paper published last December in the SIAM Journal on Uncertainty Quantification, authors Matthew Heaton, Tamara Greasby, and Stephan Sain propose a statistical hierarchical Bayesian model that consolidates climate change information from observation-based data sets and climate models.

“The vast array of climate data—from reconstructions of historic temperatures and modern observational temperature measurements to climate model projections of future climate—seems to agree that global temperatures are changing,” says author Matthew Heaton. “Where these data sources disagree, however, is by how much temperatures have changed and are expected to change in the future.  Our research seeks to combine many different sources of climate data, in a statistically rigorous way, to determine a consensus on how much temperatures are changing.” Read the rest of this entry »

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SIAM Unwrapped January 2014

  News & announcements for the SIAM membership community

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Dear SIAM members,

Here’s wishing you the very best in 2014! As we ring in the New Year, we  welcome our new Board, Council and Activity Group officers. Read details on them below.

Though 2013 is past us, we don’t have to leave Mathematics of Planet Earth behind. The successful year-long initiative continues on. Please visit mpe2013.org for details on what to expect in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

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Math models enhance current therapies for coronary heart disease

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Equations help explain key parameters of stents that combat artherosclerosis

Philadelphia, PA—Coronary heart disease accounts for 18% of deaths in the United States every year. The disease results from a blockage of one or more arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. This occurs as a result of a complex inflammatory condition called artherosclerosis, which leads to progressive buildup of fatty plaque near the surface of the arterial wall.

In a paper published last month in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, authors Sean McGinty, Sean McKee, Roger Wadsworth, and Christopher McCormick devise a mathematical model to improve currently-employed treatments of coronary heart disease (CHD).

“CHD remains the leading global cause of death, and mathematical modeling has a crucial role to play in the development of practical and effective treatments for this disease,” says lead author Sean McGinty. “The use of mathematics allows often highly complex biological processes and treatment responses to be simplified and written in terms of equations which describe the key parameters of the system. The solution of these equations invariably provides invaluable insight and understanding that will be crucial to the development of better treatments for patients in the future.” Read the rest of this entry »

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