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Industry Workshop by the Student Chapter of Magdeburg

The Student Chapter of SIAM Magdeburg organized a workshop on “Applied Mathematics in Industry” on the 9th of June, 2015. The workshop was hold by the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg and the Max Planck Institute Magdeburg. It focused on the applications of mathematics in industry and economy. In particular, it thematized real world applications. The two plenary talks were given by Dr. Melina Freitag, lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath, UK, as well as Dr. Detlev Huser, independent contractor at SM&A in Irvine, CA, and owner of dh creative services in Syke, Germany. Moreover, four student talks covered a wide range of topics, including source detection of electrocadial signals, lake management, model predictive control for embedded systems and product development.Student_Chapter_Magdeburg

Guest speaker Dr. Melina Freitag gave an introduction to data assimilation in numerical weather prediction. She presented key data assimilation methods as currently used in practice and explained computational challenges.

Dr. Detlev Huser pointed out how research in (and for) space, especially under microgravity
conditions has influenced the life and technology on earth. He explained several examples from various research areas which consider physical science and life science and their terrestrial application potential.

Afterwards the audience was invited to join the chapter board and the speakers for
dinner and some fruitful discussions.

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Nerd Nite Magdeburg

The Student Chapter of SIAM Magdeburg brought the event “Nerd Nite” to Magdeburg, Germany. The basic idea is a perfect mix of science, entertainment and fun—putting it all together in a cozy bar. Three speakers present in about 15 minutes each a topic
of their choice. The presentations are intended to be fun, yet informative and can go across all disciplines. There are no limits to the speaker’s creativity. Participants are encouraged to ask questions.

The event started in Boston in 2003 and the motto is “It’s like the Discovery Channel—with beer!”. It is now represented in more than 70 cities around the world, and since 2014 also in Magdeburg.Nerd_Nite_Magdeburg0

The Student Chapter of SIAM Magdeburg held the 3rd Nerd Nite on the 26th of May, 2015. Dr. Alexander Pastukhov, research associate at the Department of General Psychology and Methodology, Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg, explored the topic “Seeing as guessing. Why does our visual system ‘feel lucky’?”. He discussed what neuroscience and art can tell us about this, and why we need parallel computing. Patrick Kurschner, research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg, showed what we can do with antigravity. He presented dubious ways to build UFOs and hoverboards. Prof. Dr. Sebastian Eichfelder, Chair in Business Taxation, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, illustrates why the German tax declaration does not fi t on a beer coaster by speaking about tax laws versus tax “insanities”.

The 3rd Nerd Nite inspired a large audience. About 100 people enjoyed the event, which
took place between 8 and 11 pm. More information can be found at http://magdeburg.

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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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Recipients named for ninth annual SIAM Student Chapter Certificate of Recognition

SIAM Student Chapter certificates of recognition have been awarded to 76 students who have made outstanding contributions to their SIAM student chapters. This program recognizes the importance of student contributions in creating and sustaining exciting chapters, acknowledges students’ efforts within the greater SIAM community, and provides a noteworthy commendation for students to add to their records for career building.

SIAM congratulates all of the recipients and thanks them for their contributions to the development and growth of SIAM student chapters. 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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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.


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.


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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My Favorite SIAM Legacy

Susan Whitehouse, outgoing SIAM Membership Manager, recalls memories working with the SIAM student chapter community:

I will be retiring soon, after 12 great years serving as SIAM’s first Membership Manager.  My fondest legacy is the student chapters.  When I walked in the door in January of 2003, there were 12 chapters scattered about the U.S. No one knew who ran them or what they did.  My first task was to survey the existing chapters to find out what they were doing and how SIAM could best support their activities. My second task was to put together a website that would include all the tools that schools would need to set up new chapters and request financial support (the top request identified in my survey of chapter needs.) My third task was to start telling the SIAM community about the opportunity to set up chapters and encourage them to do so at their schools. Read the rest of this entry »

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Student Chapter Funding for 2014-2015

SIAM awarded over $46,000 to 95 chapters for activities taking place throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. Many of SIAM’s Student Chapters have weekly or biweekly meetings, seminars, invited speakers, workshops, field trips to companies and labs, and other interesting activities. Below are a few exciting events our chapters held in fall 2014 or plan to do in spring 2015.

A New Years greeting from the Rochester Institute of Technology chapter.

A New Years greeting from the Rochester Institute of Technology chapter.

The Cardiff University chapter hosted their Third SIAM Chapter Day on January 15. Doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers from Cardiff University and other universities were invited to showcase their research in a poster presentation. Guest lecturers included Des Higham (University of Strathclyde), Kevin Glazebrook (University of Lancaster), and Peter Wells (Cardiff University). The chapter also hosts regular seminars given by junior or postdoctoral researchers in mathematics or engineering. Read the rest of this entry »

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