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Posts Tagged ‘applied math’

Modeling robust use of pesticides

Adaptive control techniques can help manage pests more effectively

nugget_iconAs population growth, greater food consumption, competition for land use, and climate change pose challenges to world food production, managing loss of crop due to pests and weeds becomes increasingly important. While chemical pesticides offer effective means for control, potential loss of crop yield  is still significant, as is cost. Global potential loss from pests has been estimated to be between 50% and 80% of yield based on crop type.

In a paper published last week in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, authors Chris Guiver et al propose adaptive control techniques to model pest dynamics and management as a control system. Read the rest of this entry »

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SIAM News: January/February Issue Now Available

The latest issue of SIAM News is now available online! Mathematics not only enhances scientific progress, but also hides within simple gestures we instinctively repeat every day. Such is the case when we turn on the lights. What does it take to ensure that every time we enter a dark room and flip the light switch, electricity is available and waiting for us to use? Read more about optimization and how one can generate electricity in a manner that is both satisfactory for consumers and efficient from the network point of view in the most recent issue of SIAM News.

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SIAM Unwrapped November 2015

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

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Dear SIAM members,

I’m thrilled to introduce myself to you as the new editor of SIAM’s Unwrapped e-newsletter. I’m passionate about SIAM’s mission and keeping you – our members – up to date with relevant and timely news you can use, as well as arming you with the tools you need to get involved and play a part in our efforts to continue bringing the mathematical sciences into the spotlight – a goal I’m confident that we share.  If you have content ideas, questions or qualms, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at

Thanks for reading!

Becky Kerner
Editor Read the rest of this entry »

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Merck Researcher Jeff Sachs on mathematical models for drug discovery

Jeff Sachs of Merck Research Laboratories explains how mathematical models can make seemingly insurmountable amounts of data in medicine and biotechnology more manageable and informative. How can models be designed to uncover information we need from medical data in order to determine actions to be taken and decisions to be made in drug discovery and development?

Watch the video to learn how:

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Machine Learning for various applications

The extraordinary success of search engines, recommendation systems, and speech and image recognition software suggests that future advances in these technologies could have a major impact in our lives. In this talk, we discuss modern intelligent-algorithmic systems based on sophisticated statistical learning models and powerful optimization techniques. One can envision new algorithms that operate in the stochastic or batch settings, and that take full advantage of parallelism. We review our remarkable understanding of classical stochastic approximation techniques, and pose some open questions. The lecture concludes with a discussion of modern neural nets and the demands they impose on optimization methods.At the 2014 SIAM Annual Meeting Jorge Nocedal talked about all this and more. Watch the video!

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The mathematics of electricity costs [Video]

In this video from the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting, Alejandro Jofré of Universidad de Chile considers a wholesale electricity market model with generators interacting strategically and general networks including externalities such as transmission losses. Previous work shows how mechanisms such as the case when prices correspond to the Lagrange multipliers of a centralized cost minimization program allow the producers to charge significantly more than marginal price. This situation originates an important regulatory problem. In this presentation we consider an incomplete information setting where the cost structure of a producer is unknown to both its competitor and the regulator. We derive an optimal regulation mechanism and compare its performance to the “price equal to Lagrange multiplier”. Watch the video:

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Jamology – the mathematics of traffic jams [Video]

Jamming phenomena are seen in various transportation system including cars, buses, pedestrians, ants and molecular motors, which are considered as “self-driven particles”. This interdisciplinary research on jamming of self-driven particles has been recently termed “jamology”. This is based on mathematical physics and includes engineering applications as well. In his talk at the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting, Katsuhiro Nishinari of the University of Tokyo traced the background of this research: simple mathematical models, such as the asymmetric simple exclusion process and the Burgers equation, were introduced as the basis of all kinds of traffic flow. This was then extended in order to account for various traffic phenomena, and the comparison between theory and experiment was given to show that the models are able to capture fundamental features of observations. Watch the video!

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Mathematicians tackle global issues

 Philadelphia, PA– More than 100 academic institutions and scholarly societies have joined in a major world-wide initiative: Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) 2013. This year-long effort will highlight the contributions made by mathematics in tackling global problems, including natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis; climate change; sustainability; and pandemics. MPE2013 partners will sponsor workshops, research conferences, public lectures, outreach events, and educational opportunities for all ages.  Each country from a partner institution will host a special launch to the year.

MPE2013 enjoys the patronage of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.  The Director-General of UNESCO, Irena Bokova, said, “UNESCO strongly supports this extraordinary collaboration of mathematicians around the world to advance research on fundamental questions about planet Earth, to nurture a better understanding of global issues, to help inform the public, and to enrich the school curriculum about the essential role of mathematics in the challenges facing our planet.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Math detects contamination in water distribution networks

Philadelphia, PA—None of us want to experience events like the Camelford water pollution incident in Cornwall, England, in the late eighties, or more recently, the Crestwood, Illinois, water contamination episode in 2009 where accidental pollution of drinking water led to heart-wrenching consequences to consumers, including brain damage, high cancer risk, and even death. In the case of such catastrophes, it is important to have a method to identify and curtail contaminations immediately to minimize impact on the public.
A paper published earlier this month in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics considers the identification of contaminants in a water distribution network as an optimal control problem within a networked system. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tell us why math matters and win a cash prize!

Every time you log into Facebook, you probably notice advertisements along the sidebar that seem surprising relevant to your interests. Much like the algorithms Facebook implements for advertisers to target and reach the broadest range of users, math makes it possible to determine a team’s ranking in college football, predict traffic patterns, and reduce the large, cumbersome size of an image to a workable and smaller JPEG file.

As a SIAM student member, this surely comes as no surprise to you, but what about the rest of the world? SIAM’s Math Matters, Apply It! series gives students like yourself the chance to educate others and spread awareness of the application of mathematics to our daily lives.

SIAM invites you to submit new ideas for the Math Matters series, which demonstrates the role of mathematics in everyday events and occurrences — your idea will benefit the community and you could win a cash prize of up to $250!

All SIAM student members are eligible, so check out examples of current Math Matters flyers and send us one or more submissions of your own to by December 14.

Please view the complete instructions prior to sending your submission.

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