Archive for August 2011

A math-based model for deep-water oil drilling

Oil well control is one of the most important processes during drilling operations. In deepwater drilling, controlling pressure in the oil well is crucial, as excessive pressures in the drilled hole can result in blowouts, leading to disastrous events like the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

The deeper the well, the higher the pressure, and the higher the risks associated with tapping oil from wells. During drilling, when the pressure applied to balance the hydrocarbon pressure in a well is not great enough to overcome that exerted by gas and fluids in the rock formation drilled, water, gas, oil, or other formation fluid can enter the hole. This is called a “gas kick,” which in worst-case scenarios can lead to blowouts.

In a paper published earlier this month in the SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis, author Steinar Evje presents new analysis of a mathematical model that has applications to the study of such gas kicks in deep-water oil wells. Read the rest of this entry »

Funding available for SIAM Student Chapters

SIAM is offering funding up to $500 per SIAM Student Chapter for their projects taking place on campus during the 2011-2012 academic year. Approved chapters can download the “Request for Funding” at, fill it out and submit to Membership Coordinator Nancy Snell at  The deadline for requests is September 30, 2011.

SIAM Unwrapped – August 2011

SIAM Unwrapped is a free electronic newsletter distributed monthly to SIAM members. It provides links to industry news, membership information, meetings, publications, and other items of interest.

Dear SIAM members,

Don’t forget to renew your membership for 2012!

In the second week of September, you will receive an email from “SIAM Membership Renewals []” about renewing your membership for 2012. The e-mail will allow you to link directly to your SIAM membership account and either pay your dues online or print out a renewal invoice to mail or fax your payment.  Please whitelist the aforementioned e-mail address to ensure that you receive the message. Read the rest of this entry »

Wrapping up ICIAM 2011

Last month, the 7th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM 2011) unfolded in Vancouver, British Columbia, with over 2,700 attendees from 70 countries worldwide participating in scientific discussion on a wide range of topics that covered everything from cancer modeling to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill. Set in the beautiful Convention Center in downtown Vancouver, math had to compete with gorgeous views of the Rockies and the serene waters of the Pacific, but going by the packed lecture halls, busy networking areas, and animated discussions over coffee breaks, it seemed to win out in the end.

Views from Vancouver Convention Center, home of ICIAM 2011

As SIAM Executive Director Jim Crowley explained in an interview with the Philadelphia-based NewsWorks (National Public Radio’s local news affiliate), the Congress spotlighted the significance of mathematics in addressing real-world problems like disease epidemics and climate change. Over 500 minisymposia, nearly 300 posters and more than 700 lectures covered the role of math in a wide range of areas, such as public health, energy efficiency, and the economic crisis, in addition to presenting the latest tools and technologies at the forefront of the field, such as programming languages for math modeling and cutting-edge methods in high performance computing. Read the rest of this entry »

New Grant Opportunity from the Simons Foundation Department of Mathematics & Physical Sciences

Simons Fellows in Theoretical Physics
& Simons Fellows in Mathematics

Eligibility for 2011 awards restricted to sabbatical-eligible faculty who wish to extend a one-semester sabbatical to one full year.

Application deadline: September 30, 2011

The Simons Foundation Program for Mathematics and the Physical Sciences seeks to extend the frontiers of basic research. The program’s primary focus is on the theoretical sciences radiating from mathematics: in particular, the fields of mathematics, theoretical computer science and theoretical physics.

For more information visit