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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).
At the Leadership Breakfast on Tuesday at 7:00am, I gave a 2 minute talk about Social Media & Coordinating with local chapters. Afterwards I got to meet other chapter representatives, make plans to expand our local SIAM student conference (CASSC), and receive additional advice about graduate school from the SIAM leadership. This was followed by more talks, the prizes and awards complimentary luncheon, and a funding panel where I was able to talk directly with NSF and Department of Energy (DOE) representatives. That evening I attended a career fair, where I was able to inquire about potential internships with the local national laboratory (Argonne).
On Wednesday, I took the advice of the Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI) director and attended the afternoon session on Applications of Topological Ideas for Understanding Complex Dynamics. The session gave me direct insight into problems people are working on in the area I hope to research in graduate school. I also got to meet students from the universities I plan to apply to and ask them questions about the programs. That evening I attended the budget meeting where I learned more about the SIAM organization than I could have ever hoped to learn.
Thursday, I wrapped the week up by attending a special event hosted for Illinois Tech speakers and their friends, where we enjoyed dinner and got to know one another a little bit better. The week was not all “hard work,” because every night the Chicago Area SIAM Student Chapters organized a social event where we went out and about in the city, broadening our professional network each time.
Chicago-area Student Chapters Nightly Social Event at AN14 (Thursday, 10, July). The Chapters also host an annual conference, CASSC.

Chicago-area Student Chapters Nightly Social Event at AN14 (Thursday, 10, July). The Chapters also host an annual conference, CASSC.

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