SAMSI Announces Programs for 2004-05

December 1, 2003

The Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute has entered its second year of operation. SAMSI, a national NSF institute in the mathematical sciences whose mission is to forge a new synthesis of the statistical sciences with the applied mathematical sciences and disciplinary science to confront the very hardest and most important data- and model-driven scientific challenges, is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Well over 700 scientists participated in SAMSI activities in 2002-03, its first year of operation. Activities in 2003-04 included programs on network modeling for the Internet, data mining and machine learning, and multi-scale model development and control design.

Plans are well under way for SAMSI's 2004-05 programs, and numerous opportunities exist for participation by the SIAM community. Visiting young and senior researchers can reside at SAMSI for periods of one month to one year. Several postdoctoral positions will be funded for each SAMSI program. Special programs also exist for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students to initiate their involvement in cross-disciplinary and team research. New researchers will have special opportunities; senior researchers will have the chance to broaden their interests and skill sets.

Workshops will enable many others to join in the effort. Each SAMSI program will have at least an opening and a closing workshop, allowing individuals who cannot spend parts of the year at SAMSI to participate in its programs. New researchers and members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to participate in these efforts.

Activities planned for 2004-05 include a program on computational biology of infectious disease, which will run from September 2004 to May 2005. This program, to be led by Thomas Kepler and Denise Kirschner, will consider both population dynamics (with possible topics including epidemiology, social network theory, immune-response modeling, microbial ecology, host-pathogen co-evolution, drug resistance, and evolution) and genomic dynamics (with possible topics including comparative genomics, molecular evolution, proteomics, gene expres-sion modeling and microarray data analysis, and drug target identification and vaccine design).

A program in the social sciences will also run from September 2004 to May 2005. This program, led by Kenneth Bollen, Alan Karr, and Susan Murphy, will focus on the use of latent variables in modeling in the social sciences, with emphases on the interface of multilevel and structural equation modeling, longitudinal analysis, social networks, agent-based simulation, genetic and environmental influences on behavior, and causality.

The third program, on data assimilation, will be held from January to June 2005, led by Christopher Jones, Kyo Ide, Robert Miller, Douglas Nychka, and Francisco Werner. Potential emphases of this program include model adaptation, assimilation of data corresponding to subsidiary variables in coupled models (such as atmospheric data in coupled atmosphere-ocean models), optimal design of experiments for data assimilation, and assimilation of non-prognostic variables.

Further information on all SAMSI programs can be found on the SAMSI Web site (

Researchers with ideas for future SAMSI programs should contact Jim Berger ( Ideas can also be sent to other members of the SAMSI directorate---H.T. Banks (, Alan Karr (, and Steve Marron ( to the SAMSI National Advisory Committee, chaired by Peter Bickel and Margaret Wright.

---Jim Berger, director of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute

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