SIAM University Chapters Offer Programs, NetworkingMarch 15, 2000
Yes, SIAM does have university chapters!
Are you interested in stirring up some student interest in applied mathematics? Perhaps in industrial applications of mathematics? Then you might want to consider starting a university chapter of SIAM at your college or university.
SIAM currently has ten active chapters across the country. The activities of these chapters vary widely---lunch discussions of the training students would need for industrial careers, lectures given by visitors, Web site contests, and parties. Attending a SIAM section meeting or student conference as a group is a great way to generate interest in chapters.
The University of Colorado, Boulder, has an active chapter. Anne Dougherty, the faculty adviser, has some suggestions for those interested in creating chapters at their own institutions:
- Have a core group of committed student officers.
- Secure a modest budget with which to plan activities. (Provide some food at each activity.)
- Maintain a core group of standard activities that are held each year.
- Retain a faculty adviser who is willing to offer advice about activities, to recruit students, and to attend most events.
- Encourage students to plan the activities.
Food at each event seems to be a crucial factor in generating and maintaining interest. The chapter at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville generates new interest each fall by holding a pizza party for the students. Clemson University's chapter is famous for its picnics in the fall and spring---with lots of food and sports.
The creation of a university chapter begins with the submission of an application to the SIAM Board of Trustees; the application should be accompanied by a petition signed by 12 SIAM members (two of whom are faculty members at the sponsoring institution). Limited funds for chapter activities are frequently available from SIAM.
Suzanne Lenhart is a professor of mathematics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and the current president-elect of the Association for Women in Mathematics.