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Attend the career fair at the SIAM CS&E conference!

Are you attending the SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE15) in Salt Lake City in March? Then you may be interested in the CSE15 career fair sessions being held there on Saturday, March 14.

If you plan to attend the fair, please submit your resume if possible, so it can be provided in advance to the participating employers.

The career fair is an interactive event at which you can speak with employers about working in various industries. It is a great opportunity for you to meet government and industry representatives to discuss what they look for in candidates and what each employer may have to offer. The event is held primarily for graduate students and recent graduates, but job-seekers of all levels are encouraged to attend.

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SIAM Unwrapped January 2015

Unwrapped_icon_finalNews & announcements for the SIAM membership community

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Dear SIAM members,

Here’s wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year 2015!

View our 2015 brochure to review the new and exciting things to expect from SIAM this year.

Also visit our conference calendar to view a list of 2015 and future meetings. As always, you can follow us on Twitter or Google Plus and like us on Facebook to stay abreast of new events, activities and updates. SIAM has a new LinkedIn page! Be sure to follow us and participate in the conversation. Read the rest of this entry »

SIAM Welcomes its newest student chapters

The number of SIAM chapters continues to grow. Welcome to our newest chapters:

Michigan Technical University

Saint Mary’s College of Maryland

University of Akron

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Hamburg, Germany

University of Kentucky

University of Pretoria, South Africa Read the rest of this entry »

SIAM welcomes new activity group officers

SIAM is pleased to announce new officers for several activity groups. Officers began their terms on January 1 and will serve 2-year terms through the end of 2016.

SIAG on Analysis of Partial Differential Equations (SIAG/APDE) – Chair: Helena Nussenzveig Lopes; Vice Chair: Dejan Slepcev; Program Director: Lia Bronsard; Secretary: Becca Thomases

SIAG on Computational Science and Engineering (SIAG/CSE) – Chair: Lois Curfman McInnes; Vice Chair: Hans De Sterck; Program Director: Jan Hesthaven; Secretary: Suzanne Shontz

SIAG on Financial Mathematics and Engineering (SIAG/FME) – Chair: Michael Ludkovski; Vice Chair: Sebastian Jaimungal; Program Director: Tim Leung; Secretary: Alex Schied

SIAG on Geosciences (SIAG/GS) – Chair: Carol Woodward; Vice Chair: Juan Restrepo; Program Director: Jorn Behrens; Secretary: Jodi Mead

SIAG on Life Sciences (SIAG/LS) – Chair: Richard Bertram; Vice Chair: Sue Ann Campbell; Program Director: Samuel Isaacson; Secretary: Andrea Barreiro

SIAG on Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures (SIAG/NWCS) – Chair: Thomas Bridges; Vice Chair: Robert Pego; Program Director: Annalisa Calini; Secretary: Jon Wilkening

SIAG on Uncertainty Quantification (SIAG/UQ) – Chair: Andrew Stuart; Vice Chair: Serge Guillas; Program Director: Clayton Webster; Secretary: Youssef Marzouk

SIAG on Education – Chair: Peter Turner; Vice-Chair: Jeff Humpherys; Secretary:  Ben Galluzzo; Program Director: Padhu Seshaiyer

DARPA issues solicitation for Fast Lightweight Autonomy program

From DARPA: 

DARPA aims to give small unmanned aerial vehicles advanced perception and autonomy to rapidly search buildings or other cluttered environments without teleoperation.

Military teams patrolling dangerous urban environments overseas and rescue teams responding to disasters such as earthquakes or floods currently rely on remotely piloted unmanned aerial vehicles to provide a bird’s-eye view of the situation and spot threats that can’t be seen from the ground. But to know what’s going on inside an unstable building or a threatening indoor space often requires physical entry, which can put troops or civilian response teams in danger.

To address these challenges, DARPA issued a Broad Agency Announcement solicitation today for the Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program. FLA focuses on creating a new class of algorithms to enable small, unmanned aerial vehicles to quickly navigate a labyrinth of rooms, stairways and corridors or other obstacle-filled environments without a remote pilot. The solicitation is available here.

The program aims to develop and demonstrate autonomous UAVs small enough to fit through an open window and able to fly at speeds up to 20 meters per second (45 miles per hour)—while navigating within complex indoor spaces independent of communication with outside operators or sensors and without reliance on GPS waypoints.

Read full details about the UAVS envisioned for troops in urban missions.

The complete solicitation and other details are here.

Decision cascades in social networks

nugget_iconMath can shed light on spread of behaviors in online interactions

Philadelphia-PA—How do people in a social network behave? How are opinions, decisions and behaviors of individuals influenced by their online networks? Can the application of math help answer these questions?

“The way in which information, decisions, and behaviors spread through a network is a fundamental social phenomenon, and the past several decades have shown that it is a phenomenon that can be studied using rich mathematical models,” says Flavio Chierichetti who co-authored a paper that studies online behavior, published this month in the SIAM Journal on Computing. “At one level, these processes have elements in common with biological contagion, which is also inherently based on a mechanism of spread through a network. But at another level, the processes are different — the spread of behavior is based on individual decision-making, and as such, can exhibit richer and more complex behavior than the more direct mechanics of biological contagion.”

Along with co-authors Jon Kleinberg and Alessandro Panconesi, Chierichetti studies how people in social networks are often influenced by each other’s decisions, resulting in a run of behaviors in which their choices become highly correlated, thus causing a cascade of decisions. The authors focus on the problem of ordering in a cascade with the end goal of maximizing the expected number of “favorable” decisions. “Often, cascading behavior in a social network is guided by an entity that wants to achieve a certain outcome,” says Alessandro Panconesi. “For example, a company might be trying to guide the adoption of a product by word-of-mouth effects, or a political movement might be trying to guide the success of its message in a population.” Read the rest of this entry »

NSF Funding Opportunity: The math and stats of cyberspace and cybersecurity

From the NSF:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Mathematical Sciences encourages the mathematical sciences community to participate in cybersecurity research.  This crucial national priority area is replete with challenges that can be addressed by the mathematical sciences.

Traditionally, mathematics has played a central role in computer security, first in the design of computers and the background for network communications, and then in pioneering the field of modern cryptography, both in terms of designing and implementing cryptographic schemes and also in terms of defeating cryptographic schemes.  Although the area of cryptography is still one of considerable interest and importance, mathematical challenges have arisen in many other areas as well.  Similarly, statistics plays a new, vital role in many aspects of security, for example, in event detection and in determining sources of vulnerabilities. Read the rest of this entry »

Researchers from UT-Austin and University of Colorado discuss uncertainty in storm predictions

How can mathematical models help in the prediction of storms and hurricanes? How do they help determine the uncertainty that underlies extreme weather conditions? Understanding these answers can help reduce the human and monetary costs associated with natural disasters. Lindley Graham of the University of Texas at Austin and Troy Butler of the University of Colorado explain how such models and simulations help us better understand natural disasters in this video:

NSF-SIAM Symposium on Mathematical and Computational Aspects of Materials Science at CSE15

The 2015 SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE15) will host a one-day Symposium on Mathematical and Computational Aspects of Materials Science.  The symposium is sponsored jointly by the National Science Foundation and SIAM.  CSE15 will be held in Salt Lake City, and the symposium is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2015. Ten leading researchers from the materials science and mathematical sciences communities will give their perspective on areas of research where mathematicians and materials scientists can find exciting opportunities for significant collaboration. A panel session is part of the symposium, where the directors of the NSF divisions for Mathematical Sciences (DMS) and Materials Research (DMR) will describe existing mechanisms for funding collaborations. Details can be found on the symposium web site



New method helps map species genetic heritage

From the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign News Bureau: 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo – the heron or the sparrow?

These questions seem simple, but are actually difficult for geneticists to answer. A new, sophisticated statistical technique developed by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Texas at Austin can help researchers construct more accurate species trees detailing the lineage of genes and the relationships between species.

The method, called statistical binning, was used in the Avian Phylogenetics Project, the subject of a Dec. 12 special issue of the journal Science.

“A species tree is a way of describing how a species evolved from a common ancestor,” said study leader Tandy Warnow, Founder Professor of Bioengineering and Computer Science at the University of Illinois. “Researchers use a species tree to do all sorts of things, like figure out when different traits came into being, and what triggered that trait evolution, and how those things may or may not have been triggered by environmental changes.” Read the rest of this entry »