SIAM Student Chapter Activities Update

September 23, 2010

Caption: The University of Trier student chapter organized a field trip to the European Space Agency (ESA) at the area of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne.

SIAM student chapters sponsored many exciting and diverse activities during the 2009-2010 academic year. Here are some examples of events that chapters organized on and around their campuses:

The California State University Stanislaus chapter participated in Campus Club Day where they had a booth to provide information and recruit members. Chapter activities included a guided tour of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and a presentation by LeanQuest Consulting on mathematics in industry in the field of optimization.

The Colorado School of Mines chapter had three guest speakers in its inaugural year including Amanda Hering, CSM, Katerina Kechris, Colorado School of Public Health, and Jeanne Atwell, Ball Aerospace. CSM Chapter also held a pie sale for Pi Day, a department picnic, and the 1st Annual CSM Pi-Mile Fun Run.

The Columbia University chapter organized a "math start-up meeting" at which four start-ups were invited to present their applied mathematics challenges. The spring meeting filled the engineering school's largest auditorium and was mentioned in Scientific American, the New York Times, and Crain's Business Daily.

The Illinois Institute of Technology chapter held a weekly intra-campus math competition open to all undergraduate students. Solutions were submitted via email and graded by chapter volunteers; the first person to submit the correct answer was awarded a cash prize.

The Louisiana State University chapter hosted members of the University of Illinois at Chicago chapter for a series of talks. The LSU chapter also organized informal discussions over breakfast with Max Gunzburger, Florida State University, and Fadil Santosa, Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications, when they visited LSU.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology chapter sponsored an applied mathematics colloquium in which Hassan Aref, Virginia Tech, gave a talk entitled "Point vortices, a classical mathematics playground." The chapter also sponsored a high performance parallel scientific computing workshop on MPI and OpenMP.

The Old Dominion University chapter connected alumni with current students and faculty by inviting them to the chapter's mathematics awareness conference. Alumni from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Credit Suisse Securities, and NASA Langley participated in the conference, offering networking opportunities for graduating students.

The Oregon State University chapter hosted Steven Keller, Boeing Company, who gave a talk entitled "Getting Math off the Ground," and Apple Distinguished Scientist Richard Crandall who spoke on "Mathematical Focusing of Images." The chapter collaborated with AWM to host a panel of actuaries from Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

The third annual Oxford University SIAM Student Chapter Conference attracted close to 100 participants and featured talks by Ian Stewart, University of Warwick, and Paul Bressloff, Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics. Students presented on topics such as statistics in medicine, fluid mechanics, and compressed sensing.

The Shippensburg University chapter established an applied math lecture series and co-sponsored the Cumberland Valley Math Modeling contest, a regional math contest that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to apply their math skills to real-world problems.

The Stanford University chapter held its annual Seminars on Current Research in Engineering and Applied Mathematics (SCREAM 2010) beginning with a special kick-off lecture on "Mathematics of Sports" by Joseph Keller in honor of this year's Mathematics Awareness Month theme.

The SUNY New Paltz chapter held a weekly SIAM lecture series as well as their annual Integration Bee. The chapter also hosted SIAM Visiting Lecturer Philip J. Holmes, Princeton University, who presented "Does Math Matter to Gray Matter?"

The George Mason University chapter volunteered as judges and graders at the Regional MATHCOUNTS competition for over 400 middle school students.

The chapters at Shippensburg University, University of Delaware, George Mason University, and University of Pittsburgh teamed up to organize the first SIAM Mid-Atlantic Regional Applied Mathematics Student Conference at Shippensburg University, providing students an opportunity to share their research.

The University of California at Los Angeles chapter held a series of software engineering seminars as well as the Perspectives in Mathematics Seminar Series featuring a presentation on celestial mechanics by William Newman, Department of Earth and Space Sciences.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and University of Colorado at Boulder graduate chapters participated in the 2010 SIAM Front Range conference at the University of Denver. At UC-Boulder, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory spoke about career opportunities and NASA's research in GPS technologies.

The University of Graz chapter sponsored an interdisciplinary seminar course on "Creativity Through Free-Movement" and "Communication Beyond Words and Formulas," based on theories which chapter vice-president Markus Muller consolidated from his outside-university experience in dance and movement and offering a new view on creativity and communication.

The University of Maryland at College Park chapter organized a student seminar series in which students gave talks about their current research; a graduate research competition including oral presentations, paper writing, and poster presentations; and the Annual Graduation Conference, which attracted over 100 participants.

The University of Trier chapter hosted several invited speakers and sponsored a field trip to the European Astronaut Centre at the European Space Agency in Cologne.

University of Washington held a student seminar series featuring research presentations in applied math, applied physics, mechanical engineering, computer science, as well as a presentation by Microsoft. The chapter held an hour-long Q&A session following the Applied Math Boeing lectures, offering students the opportunity to ask questions about topics such as career development and choosing a research advisor.

For information on forming a SIAM student chapter visit or contact Membership Manager Susan Whitehouse at [email protected] or Membership Assistant Nancy Snell at [email protected].

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