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Should a political party form a coalition? Using math to decide

nugget_iconPhiladelphia, PA–Mathematical ideas and tools are often used to describe aspects of large macroscopic systems. Examples abound in areas as varied as finance to psychology. In a paper published last month in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, author Fabio Bagarello proposes mathematical models to analyze political decision-making.  Using a dynamical approach which accounts for interactions between political parties and their constituents, the model tries to deduce whether parties should form coalitions under various circumstances.

“Mathematics is important in many aspects of social behavior. Politics is just one of these aspects, since
some of the typical behavior in politics can be characterized by suitable quantities which, usually, evolve in time,” says Bagarello. “In other words, political parties are examples of dynamical systems.” Read the rest of this entry »

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SIAM Unwrapped April 2015

News & announcements for the SIAM membership community

This issue of SIAM Unwrapped brought to you with partial support from:

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Download a PDF version

Dear SIAM members,

Have you watched this amazing overview of 32 math applications in 63 seconds? View it and share the video clip, “I use math for…” here.  How do you use math? Tweet us with hashtag #Iusemath

Did you know that SIAM offers discounted membership rates for members of other mathematical societies? SIAM has a reciprocity agreement with 13 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): 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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Pi Day 2015 at UMBC

On Friday, March 13, 2015, University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s SIAM Student Chapter, Mathematics and Statistics Graduate Student Association (MSGSA), and Pi Mu Epsilon Chapter co-hosted a special Pi Day Social.  The President of MSGSA gave students a brief history of Pi, presenting the chronology of attempts to approximate Pi. There was food, fun, and math-related games including Jeopardy Pi Day Edition,  Pi Day Sudoku, a pie tasting contest, and a Pi reciting contest where an undergraduate in mechanical engineering was able to recite 100 digits of Pi.  Special emphasis was placed on giving the opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students from mathematics, statistics, mechanical engineering, and computer science to network and socialize in an informal, friendly, and light-hearted math environment. The event had great turnout and was a fantastic success!

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SIAM names Class of 2015 Fellows

Philadelphia, PA—Each year, SIAM designates as Fellows of the society those who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of applied mathematics and computational science. This year, 31 members of the community have been selected for this distinction: Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 Class of SIAM Fellows are a distinguished group

Fellow_LOGOFinal-ol-273_resizeMembers of the community recognized for their outstanding contributions

Philadelphia, PA—SIAM Fellows are designated each year to recognize members of the community for their distinguished contributions to the disciplines of applied mathematics, computational science and related fields. The Fellows Selection Committee selects Fellows based on nominations by SIAM members.

The new Class of Fellows, listed below in alphabetical order will be honored at the Prizes and Awards Luncheon to be held at the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Beijing in August. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nancy Kopell and Bard Ermentrout receive Mathematical Neuroscience Prize

Dr. Nancy Kopell of Boston University and Dr. Bard Ermentrout of the University of Pittsburgh have been awarded the Mathematical Neuroscience Prize.

Kopell was awarded for her work in mathematical analysis of the nervous system functions, and Ermentrout was recognized for his classic work in mathematical biology. Each received a $100,000 prize.

Kopell and Ermentrout are both SIAM Fellows.

 

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The Abel Prize goes to John Nash & Louis Nirenberg

The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters has announced that the Abel Prize for 2015 will go to American mathematicians John F. Nash, Jr. and Louis Nirenberg “for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.”

Read full details on the Abel Prize website.

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George Mason University SIAM chapter volunteers in MATHCOUNTS competitions

Diego Torrejon of the George Mason University SIAM student chapter writes: 

The Northern Virginia Regional 32nd MATHCOUNTS competitions were held on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at Glasgow Middle School in Alexandria, VA and at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Arlington, VA. These chapters include schools in Fairfax and Arlington counties as well as the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax City and Vienna. Over 450 sixth through eighth grade students from 51 elementary and middle schools competed at the events. Several members from the George Mason University SIAM student chapter participated in this outreach event as judges, scorers and volunteers.

SIAM GMU chapter volunteers at MAHTCOUNTS [From (R to L: Front Row: Raymond Powell (Chairman, Northern Virginia Mathcounts Chapter), Manuel DePonte, (Chairman, Mathcounts National Board of Directors), Mezel Smith, Christopher Gray, Rachel Locke, Marilyn Vazquez, Shauna Simeone, Alexandra Johnson, Margaret Araneo, Alicia Suchicital and Padmanabhan Seshaiyer (SIAM Faculty Advisor) Back Row: Diego Torrejon, James Cameron and Stephen Liddle]

SIAM GMU chapter volunteers at MATHCOUNTS

In picture above, from R to L: Front Row: Raymond Powell (Chairman, Northern Virginia Mathcounts Chapter), Manuel DePonte, (Chairman, Mathcounts National Board of Directors), Mezel Smith, Christopher Gray, Rachel Locke, Marilyn Vazquez, Shauna Simeone, Alexandra Johnson, Margaret Araneo, Alicia Suchicital and Padmanabhan Seshaiyer (SIAM Faculty Advisor) Back Row: Diego Torrejon, James Cameron and Stephen Liddle]

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UMBC Chapter Hosts Event on the Transition from Grad School to a Career

Sarah Swatski, Vice President of the SIAM Student Chapter at UMBC, writes: 

On Wednesday, March 11, the UMBC SIAM Student Chapter hosted Navigating the Transition from Grad School to a Career.  We were very pleased to have Susan Hindle, Assistant Director for Internships and Employment with the UMBC Career Center as well as Dr. Bedrich Sousedik and Dr. Kofi Adragni, Assistant Professors in the UMBC Department of Mathematics and Statistics, speaking at this event.  Susan Hindle shared information on the many services offered by the Career Center and discussed when to use and how to construct a “30-second commercial” or “elevator pitch.”  Dr. Sousedik and Dr. Adragni discussed their experiences with their transition from graduate school to their positions at UMBC and answered student questions.

Professors Bedrich Sousedik and Kofi Adragni speaking to students at the event

Professors Bedrich Sousedik and Kofi Adragni speaking to students at the event

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Charles University in Prague Chapter conducts FEniCS workshop

Jan Papež  of Charles University in Prague Chapter of SIAM writes:

In February 2015 the Charles University in Prague Chapter of SIAM organised a week-long workshop focused on programming in the FEniCS Project. The FEniCS Project is a collection of free software with an extensive list of features for automated and efficient solution of partial differential equations. Among the main components of this tool there are the C++/Python problem solving environment DOLFIN and the Unified Form Language (UFL) that allows a user-friendly and almost mathematical formulation of the problem.

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The workshop started off with solving the Laplace equation which was used to teach participants the basics of Python and provide them with a brief introduction to FEniCS. We used our previous experience from MATLAB workshops that learning by doing is the most appreciated approach by attendants. Later in the week we moved from one problem to another and solved the heat equation, the evolutionary nonlinear problems of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equation, and the equations of hyper-elasticity. In the end we spent the last day on computing the eigenfunctions of the Laplace operator.

FEniCS_1

The course was led by two members of our faculty, Jaroslav Hron and Jan Blechta who is one of the developers of the FEniCS Project. The workshop attracted 30 participants, students and faculty staff members. We consider it to be a great success with the possibility of becoming a regular activity of our Chapter.

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