Conference News

SIAM Annual Meeting: Experience of an AMAT Undergraduate

Barrett Leslie, Illinois Tech chapter representative for AN14

Barrett Leslie, Illinois Tech chapter representative for AN14

Hello, my name is Barrett Leslie, and I am in the final year of the Illinois Tech undergraduate AMAT program. I was chosen to be this year’s chapter representative for AN14, and I got to experience an activity-packed week, some of which I’d like to share with you.

The week started for me on Monday morning at the mini-symposium MS9 Student Days: Undergraduate Sessions, where I got to give my first ever talk at a conference. (You can find out more about my research here). The rest of the day was spent going to a variety of talks, learning the lay of the land, and meeting new people. That evening I attended a reception for the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes, where I got to meet the directors of the various institutes. One director inquired what topic I would like to pursue in graduate school, then gave me personal advice as to what talks to attend (more about that later). Read the rest of this entry »
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Exploring human nature through the social web

Free public lecture discusses how online expression and communication is changing how we study human networks 

Philadelphia, PA—The web grows larger and more social every day, allowing ordinary people to express themselves more publicly and permanently than ever before through blogs and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Foursquare.

Sep Kamvar, LG Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and director of the Social Computing group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has had more than a decade of experience studying social technology that has emerged from this tremendous growth in public human communication and self-expression on the web.

In a free public lecture organized as part of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in Chicago next week, Dr. Kamvar will discuss how this technological and accompanying cultural shift offers a great opportunity to study (and organize) people. “The Internet is bursting with people’s documented expression and communication, pictures and videos, all linked to freely available information about their location, time of day, weather, and more,” according to Kamvar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Leslie Greengard to deliver The John von Neumann Lecture

The prize will be awarded at the SIAM Annual Meeting in Chicago

Philadelphia, PA—Leslie F. Greengard of the Simons Foundation and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University has been awarded the 2014 John von Neumann Lecture prize.

The highest honor awarded by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the society’s flagship lecture—established in 1959 in honor of the Hungarian-American mathematician of the same name—is given to a mathematician, or a scientist in another field, who has made distinguished contributions to the field of applied mathematical sciences. Dr. Greengard will receive his award and present the associated prize lecture at the SIAM Annual Meeting to be held in Chicago next month. Read the rest of this entry »

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Submission Deadlines for ICIAM 2015 Announced

The International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM 2015) will be held in Beijing, China on August 10-14, 2015. Following recent traditions, SIAM will not hold its Annual Meeting in 2015 in order to support the ICIAM Congress. SIAM encourages those who wish to participate to submit minisymposium proposals or contributed talks directly to the Congress organizers. For those planning to participate, some key deadline information is now available.

The organizers of ICIAM 2015 have recently posted the submission dates on the conference web site here.  Note, for example, that minisymposium proposals may be submitted starting March 31, 2014, with a final deadline of September 30, 2014.

SIAM has applied to the National Science Foundation for funding for a limited number of people from U.S. institutions to travel to the Congress. Application details will be posted in the near future. Priority will be given to students and early career researchers.

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Scientific Computation In Next Generation Innovation – An Aerospace Perspective [Video]

For technologically mature industries or those with high barriers to change, innovation is a challenge. One low risk, low cost innovation path is to radically improve performance while minimizing change to existing infrastructure. In his presentation at the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting and Conference on Control and Its Applications, Nazareth Bedrossian of Halliburton used a historical perspective on spacecraft optimal control to show how scientific computation can act as the enabler for next generation innovation. Real world examples were presented where radical leaps in performance without altering spacecraft hardware or software has been achieved.

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The mathematics of electricity costs [Video]

In this video from the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting, Alejandro Jofré of Universidad de Chile considers a wholesale electricity market model with generators interacting strategically and general networks including externalities such as transmission losses. Previous work shows how mechanisms such as the case when prices correspond to the Lagrange multipliers of a centralized cost minimization program allow the producers to charge significantly more than marginal price. This situation originates an important regulatory problem. In this presentation we consider an incomplete information setting where the cost structure of a producer is unknown to both its competitor and the regulator. We derive an optimal regulation mechanism and compare its performance to the “price equal to Lagrange multiplier”. Watch the video:

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Jamology – the mathematics of traffic jams [Video]

Jamming phenomena are seen in various transportation system including cars, buses, pedestrians, ants and molecular motors, which are considered as “self-driven particles”. This interdisciplinary research on jamming of self-driven particles has been recently termed “jamology”. This is based on mathematical physics and includes engineering applications as well. In his talk at the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting, Katsuhiro Nishinari of the University of Tokyo traced the background of this research: simple mathematical models, such as the asymmetric simple exclusion process and the Burgers equation, were introduced as the basis of all kinds of traffic flow. This was then extended in order to account for various traffic phenomena, and the comparison between theory and experiment was given to show that the models are able to capture fundamental features of observations. Watch the video!

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The mathematics of conservation decision making [Video]

Species are currently becoming extinct at least 100 times the background rate. The resources available to save biodiversity are inadequate. Consequently we need to optimise the return on investment from conservation decisions. In this talk at the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting, Hugh Possingham of the University of Queensland showed how optimization tools are being used to solve conservation problems such as reserve system design, and allocating funds to threatened species management. Watch the video!

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Social Networks as Information Filters [Video]

Social networks, especially online social networks, are driven by information sharing. But just how much information sharing is influenced by social networks? A large-scale experiment measured the effect of the social network on the quantity and diversity of information being shared within Facebook. While strong ties were found to be individually more influential, collectively it is the weak ties that wield more influence and provide more diverse information exposure. This sharing behavior not only generates large cascades, but can also cause information to evolve. Lada Adamic of the University of Michigan spoke about all this and more with engaging examples at the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting. Watch the video!

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Travel Grants for ICM 2014

The American Mathematical Society has applied to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for funds to permit partial travel support for U.S. mathematicians attending the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2014) August 13 – 21, 2014, in Seoul, Korea.  Subject to the award decision by the NSF, the Society is preparing to administer the selection process, which would be similar to previous programs funded in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Instructions on how to apply for support are available on the AMS website.  The application period is September 1 – November 15, 2013.  Read the rest of this entry »

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