SIAM/AAAS Media Fellow Reports InAugust 7, 2007
Intrigued by a talk on mathematical models of alcoholism at SIAM's 2006 conference on the life sciences, NCSU grad student Brandy Benedict submitted an article based on the talk to SIAM News. The article, which appeared in the April 2007 issue, later became part of Benedict's (successful) application to become this year's SIAM/AAAS Mass Media Fellow.
On June 22, Benedict wrote to SIAM News from Milwaukee, where she is spending the ten-week fellowship on the science desk at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The experience was proving to be as rewarding as she had hoped. She had written two science stories and was researching a third---on the mathematics underlying Sudoku and other puzzles (for which she had already interviewed New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz).
Readers intrigued by Philip Davis's evolving relationship with crossword puzzles (see accompanying article) might be interested in the fate of Benedict's Sudoku story, which appeared on June 26: "It was printed on the front cover of the newspaper!" Benedict wrote in a subsequent e-mail message to SIAM News. "Apparently math stories are very rare, and a math story on page 1A is quite an accomplishment. This one was the hardest to write, because I understood it better than the others. . . . I pitched this story to my editor on my first day."
For students interested in learning more about the SIAM/AAAS fellowship program, details can be found at http://www.aaas.org/programs/education/MassMedia/.