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NSF Unsolicited Proposals for Quantitative Approaches to Biomedical Big Data (QuBBD)

From the NSF:

Dear Colleagues:

The explosion in the availability of health- and disease-related data from biological, biomedical, behavioral, social, environmental, and clinical studies is creating new opportunities for collaborative research. Innovative methodology for visualization, modeling, and analysis of biomedical big data is imperative to address the challenges posed by complex data structures such as images, networks, and graphs, missing and sparse data, and complex dependence structures and interaction effects.

One of the critical application areas at the interface of the biomedical and data sciences is precision (or personalized) medicine. The goal of precision medicine is to develop a targeted treatment (or prevention) regimen that takes into account unique characteristics of an individual such as genetic makeup, environmental factors, and lifestyle. Achieving the goal of precision medicine will require combining data across multiple formats and developing novel, sophisticated mathematical, statistical, and computational methods that facilitate high-confidence predictions for individuals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tristan van Leeuwen receives SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences Junior Scientist Prize

From the press office of Universiteit Utrecht: 

Tristan van Leeuwen of Utrecht University in the Netherlands received the SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences Junior Scientist Prize this year. The jury praised Van Leeuwen for his “exceptional contribution to the theory, algorithms and large scale computing of seismic inverse problems, and for his leadership in the field of mathematics based seismic imaging.” SIAM awards the prize to a young, promising researcher in the field of mathematics with an application in the geosciences every two years.

Van Leeuwen has been working as an assistant professor at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Science since 2014. He was pleasantly surprised to receive the prize: “I didn’t expect this. This international recognition has inspired me to remain active at the interface between mathematics and geoscience,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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SIAM joins call to action for American Innovation Imperative

Philadelphia, PA–SIAM today joined scores of other organizations as well as leaders of American business, industry, higher education, science, and engineering in an urgent call to action for stronger federal policies and investment to drive domestic research and development. Ten CEOs and 252 organizations signed “Innovation: An American Imperative,” a document aimed at federal decision makers and legislators.  It underscores the findings—and warnings—contained in The American Academy of Arts & Sciences report, Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American DreamRead the rest of this entry »

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Mathematical models with complicated dynamics for disease study

nugget_iconPhiladelphia, PA – “The impact of human mobility on disease dynamics has been the focus of mathematical epidemiology for many years, especially since the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, which showed that an infectious agent can spread across the globe very rapidly via transportation networks,” says mathematician Gergely Röst. Röst is co-author of a paper published today in the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems that presents a mathematical model to study the effects of individual movement on infectious disease spread.

“More recently, the risk of polio in Europe has been elevated by human migration, and many countries were concerned about the possibility of Ebola getting out of West-Africa,” continues Röst, who co-authored the paper with Diana Knipl and Paweł Pilarczyk.  “There are several mathematical tools that can help in assessing how mobility facilitates disease spread, including multipatch compartmental models which are suitable to describe local disease dynamics as well as travel patterns between distinct locations, such as major cities.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Better fracking with computational models

The process of hydraulic fracturing , commonly known as “fracking”, involves injecting large volumes of water into impermeable rocks such as shale in an effort to create flow paths for fluids such as oil and gas. This process often generates tiny earthquakes (or microseismic events) which in turn can be used as passive seismic sources for imaging the subsurface. In this video, researchers Susan Minkoff and Rosalie Belanger-Rioux describe computational modeling techniques that can be used to estimate the location of these microseismic events and the uncertainty inherent in this process. They discuss microseismic event location in the context of hydraulic fracturing and modeling of methane hydrates. Watch the video!

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Modeling coastal vegetation

Understanding the flow of water through complex coastal regions can be of interest for a number of applications, like wetland health and restoration, inland flooding due to tropical storms and hurricanes, and navigation through coastal waters. The existence of vegetation in coastal regions increases the flow resistance, which helps determine velocity and water level distribution in wetlands and inland. In this video, Steven Mattis of the University of Texas at Austin talks about computational modeling of flow and transport through idealized coastal vegetation in order to better understand it.

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SIAM Unwrapped June 2015

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



Dear SIAM members,

Are you attending the 8th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Beijing? Read some updates on the conference in this issue.

Also, learn about two great video projects that should be of interest to anyone in the mathematical science community. Read the rest of this entry »

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Editor of SIAM News retires

SIAM announces the retirement of Gail Corbett, Editor of SIAM News.  Gail has been Editor of SIAM News for 28 years. Her many talents as writer and editor and her greatest talent of searching out interesting and significant articles in the area of applied mathematics have earned her many accolades from SIAM members and the community at large. We want to thank Gail for her dedication and outstanding service to SIAM and the applied math and computational science community. We wish her much happiness.

As SIAM plans for Gail’s transition to retirement, we have begun a search for her successor. If interested, please read a full description of the SIAM News managing editor (ME) position below. If anyone is interested in the position, or knows of someone who may be interested, please get in touch with Jim Crowley at or Susan Palantino at Read the rest of this entry »

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Video: Modeling storm surge to better protect Texas

The recent floods in Texas have caused some of the worst flooding since Hurricane Ike in 2008, causing the rainiest month in the state’s history.

What lessons have been learned from Ike’s devastation of the Galveston and Houston area, and how have they helped in the prediction of future such storms?

Researchers at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin have been studying computational models and simulations of hurricanes like Ike in order to predict the consequences of such natural disasters and better prepare the Texas Gulf Coast for their effects.

Environmental and coastal ocean engineering models yield complex systems that combine interdisciplinary techniques. Accurate and efficient simulation requires advanced tools in high performance scientific computing. Watch the video below, where Jennifer Proft of UT Austin discusses new ideas for the high resolution modeling of extreme weather such as hurricane storm surge and floods:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Oncology, Machine Learning and Watson: SIAM Student Chapter visits IBM

Eric Eager, faculty advisor of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse SIAM Student Chapter, writes:

On April 10th I had the pleasure of leading a group of seven students from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse SIAM Student Chapter on a visit to IBM Rochester in Rochester, MN.  The group, which consists of many students who are graduate-school bound in pure mathematics, was very excited to see what doing mathematics was like in a non-academic setting.  Read the rest of this entry »

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