SIAM Reaches Out to Applied Mathematicians in Developing Countries

January 14, 2000

From the SIAM President
Gilbert Strang

I am writing this month with good news for the growth of SIAM. The SIAM Board of Trustees has approved a proposal to establish annual dues of $25 for members who live and work in developing countries. A long list of eligible countries can be found on our Web site, along with the application form. I would like to write about the reasons for this important step. And I need to ask your help in making this new opportunity known beyond the readership of SIAM News.

The mission of SIAM is to help applied mathematicians do their work. Our journals and conferences are a terrific communication link-a way to learn about the work of others and to announce new results. We all share in this effort, each doing some part of it, and the more who are involved the better. This sharing has to be open to the widest possible number of mathematicians and scientists and engineers. We want to welcome everyone who supports the goals of SIAM. SIAM's $99 annual dues are very modest compared with those of other major scientific and engineering societies. We also maintain low prices for books and journals, always with the same purpose: We need those publications to do our work. We may develop software and use hardware, but our first priority is thoughtware. Still, the cost of joining SIAM can seem high in a country with a developing economy. So we computed the lowest membership cost that SIAM could responsibly offer, and established the dues of $25 for our members in these countries.

The new members will receive the print version of SIAM News (10 issues a year) and the electronic version of SIAM Review (which is published quarterly). All members will have full voting privileges. They will be invited to join any of SIAM's 11 Activity Groups (at the regular cost of $10 a year). They will have the same discounts for conferences as all other members. The simplest way to apply is to use the Web. For those who do not have access to the Web, an e-mail message to will bring instructions.

I am personally delighted with this decision by SIAM. Our subject is international, and this society is strongly international too. We will be able to reach active applied mathematicians everywhere with this new membership plan. At the same time, preparations are going forward for a major conference in Berlin in 2001 (more about this to come in a future column).

Another positive decision of the board was to accept the petition for the SIAM Activity Group on Imaging Science. The final stage, approval of the Rules of Procedure, should be completed in January, and the list of SIAM members who want to join is growing steadily. You can add your name by sending an e-mail message to David Wilson.

May I mention that our plan for nominating new members of SIAM is still in effect? The Web site makes it easy:

Just click on "Nominate Potential SIAM Members" and then use the form to suggest names. My experience is that people tend to do things when they are invited. SIAM journals and conferences often lead our members into new research directions. But joining the society comes first, and you can help.

I hope that you (and SIAM) will have a great New Year.

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