Graduate students win prizes for scholarly paper submissions

June 4, 2010

In order to recognize and encourage excellence in applied mathematics and computational science, SIAM awards at its annual meeting up to three prizes for submissions to the SIAM Student Paper Competition. Papers considered for the award must have been submitted for publication prior to the contest by students in pursuit of PhD degrees.

Selection is based on caliber and content of each student's contribution to the paper. This year's selection committee, comprising Kelly Black, John Geddes, and Reza Malek-Madani, was chaired by SIAM Vice President for Education Peter Turner.

Recipients of the 2010 SIAM Student Paper Prize include Bubacarr Bah of the University of Edinburgh, Russell Carden of Rice University, and Karin Leiderman of the University of Utah.

Bubacarr Bah's winning paper, "Improved Restricted Isometry Constant Bounds for Gaussian Matrices" explores a relatively new area of random matrix theory, providing a derivation for the smallest known bounds on Restricted Isometry Constants for large rectangular matrices. The paper, which was co-authored with his PhD advisor, Professor Jared Tanner, is a quantitative assessment and accounts for interdependencies between submatrices. Bah is currently Vice President of SIAM's Edinburgh chapter, the second student chapter in the UK, which he helped found.

Russell Carden's research sheds light on the structure of the field of values associated with matrices, and devises an algorithm to solve the inverse field of values problem. Titled "A Simple Algorithm for the Inverse Field of Values Problem," Carden's paper solves the problem in the two-dimensional case and offers a simpler deterministic approach than that proposed in the field previously. Carden is pursuing a PhD in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University under the supervision of Professor Mark Embree.

Karin Leiderman, a PhD student at the University of Utah, in her winning paper, presents a mathematical model for the biochemical processes that occur during coagulation in a blood vessel. "Grow with the Flow: A Spatial-Temporal Model of Platelet Deposition and Blood Coagulation under Flow" models the spatial-temporal growth of a thrombus (or clot) along the wall and within the lumen of a blood vessel by factoring in local fluid dynamics. Among other things, this model could further studies on therapies for diseases involving insufficient or excessive blood clotting. Leiderman's advisor and co-author is Professor Aaron Fogelson.

The prizes will be awarded at the Prizes and Awards Luncheon at the 2010 SIAM Annual Meeting on July 13, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Allegheny Grand Ballroom of the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh. Each award winner will receive a hand-calligraphed certificate and a cash prize of $1,000, in addition to complimentary registration and a grant toward travel expenses for the annual meeting. Winning papers will be presented between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in Room 310 of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

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