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SIAM Student Chapter Update

SIAM provided over $39,500 to 85 chapters to support activities during the 2012-2013 academic year. The activities that they planned were limited only by their imaginations. Here are some of the exciting activities that SIAM chapters sponsored during the 2012-2013 academic year.

On April 27-28, college math students in the greater Chicago area convened at the first  annual Chicago Area SIAM Student Conference (CASSC), hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The event was a collaboration between the SIAM chapters of UIC, Northwestern University, and Illinois Institute of Technology. It featured three plenary speakers, numerous talks from graduate students, a poster session, and a career panel. Next year’s conference will be held next spring at Northwestern University.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences chapter held its first SIAM Student Chapter Annual Meeting (cosponsored by SIAM and ICMSEC) on May 25. It featured plenary talks, by Wuming Liu and Xin Liu of CAS, six student talks, and speakers from industry. Forty-five students from seven institutions attended.

L to R: Purdue University Chapter Faculty Advisor Mark Daniel Ward, graduate poster award winner Natasha Bosnac, and chapter president Federico Antico.

Caption: Heidelberg University chapter visited the IBM global research lab in Zurich, Switzerland, on March 5. After receiving a general overview of the lab’s research activities, participants heard talks on integer programming, simulation-based assembly systems optimization, and the direction of future developments at IBM. The tour concluded with a look at IBM’s newly constructed nanotech center.

June 14, National University of Singapore chapter held the 2nd SIAM Student Chapter @NUS Symposium on Applied and Computational Math. This one-day symposium featured eight talks given by senior researchers in industrial and applied mathematics, with plenary talks titled “Optimizing Radiotherapy” and “Sparse Uncorrelated Linear Discriminant Analysis.”

Oregon State University chapter held an invited talk by Thomas Grandine (Boeing Company), SIAM’s VP for Industry. The talk, attended by 35 students, began with a technical presentation on geometric models used to manufacture composite materials used in Boeing products. It concluded with a question and answer session that addressed student questions about the usefulness of math in industry and what it’s like to work at Boeing.

On April 5, Purdue University chapter hosted the 5th annual Computational Science and Engineering Student Conference (CSESC 2013), a student-run conference featuring 11 poster presentations and 26 talks given by students in a wide range of departments. In addition to CSESC 2013, the chapter toured the Caterpillar plant in Lafayette, Indiana.

University of Houston SIAM Student Chapter

University of Houston SIAM Student Chapter

University of Bath chapter had an interesting year, starting on March 6 with the Comic Relief Maths Bake-Off, inspired by the TV show “The Great British Bake-Off.” Five contestants baked and decorated math-themed cakes and were scored based on taste, texture, “mathsness”, and originality. The winning cake featured a simple proof by picture for Pythagoras’ theorem. The event raised over £100 for Comic Relief, a charity that strives to create a just world free from poverty. The chapter also hosted the UK Maths Postgraduate Football Championships 2013, a 7-a-side football (not the American kind) tournament. University of Sheffield won a thrilling final over University of Manchester, giving them the right to host the event next year.

The 9th annual Front Range Applied Mathematics Student Conference was held on March 2 at University of Colorado at Denver. The event is co-sponsored by CU Denver, CU Boulder, CU Colorado Springs, Colorado School of Mines, and Colorado State University.  Sixty-seven (67) attendees heard plenary speaker Loren Cobb (UC Denver) give a talk titled “Mathematics of Society and its Dysfunctions,” as well as 36 student speakers.

In April, chapters at Harvard and MIT helped out at the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) booth at the Cambridge Science Festival.

Motivated by their locale’s oil and gas industries and healthcare research, the University of Houston chapter began its yearly activities with talks by Rami Nammour (Total E&P) and Wei Ji Ma (Baylor College of Medicine) about applications of probabilistic models in reflection seismology and cognitive neuroscience, respectively. The chapter also held a graduate student paper presentation event wherein nine grad students presented papers on topics such as image and signal processing, PDEs, computational probabilistic models, and dynamical systems. They also hosted a workshop by Mathworks engineers on advanced visualization techniques in MATLAB and an internship and job oriented seminar.

University of Warwick invited a speaker from a UK supermarket, Tesco PLC, who talked about how the supermarket uses mathematics and statistics to understand its customers and drive its supply chain. The talk, which attracted a lot of postgraduate students and academic staff, had the unexpected consequence of a collaboration between the Warwick business school and Tesco PLC. The chapter also organized the 2nd SIAM National Student Chapter Conference, bringing together 42 postgraduate students and young researchers from a wide range of disciplines. The conference featured plenary talks by Nicholas Higham (University of Manchester), Alain Goriely (University of Oxford), and Mark Jerrum (Queen Mary, University of London), as well as eight talks by PhD students.

University of Washington  chapter hosted an informal student seminar series, a Boeing speaker graduate student round table, a student tutorial series, a non-student seminar series, and they also held an outreach event at Lockwood Elementary School at which volunteer graduate students from various departments went to the elementary school to teach the students about exciting topics in math, including random walks, quantum cryptography, velocity and acceleration, and hexaflexagons. It’s unknown how many of the young students have decided to embark on a career in mathematics, but it sounds like they had a fun day!


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