Help SIAM Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary

March 15, 2000

"If some movie maker wants to put together a documentary about progress in numerical analysis," Philip Davis wrote in these pages in 1996, "then there is one episode in what I am about to relate that's worth a five-second in-depth treatment." From this understated introduction, he went on to tell the tale of the computation of two aerodynamic quantities, the lift coefficient and the coefficient of pitching, as carried out in Langley Field, Virginia, in the spring of 1944. His engaging account is laced with what he calls "a few inadequate words about the state of numerical analysis in those predigital days."

The occasion for Davis's story was the 50th anniversary of the ENIAC. SIAM will celebrate its own 50th anniversary (which of course intersects that of the ENIAC at many points) in Philadelphia, at its 2002 annual meeting. Plans for the meeting, along with the scientific program, include a look to the past---the history of SIAM's growth, and by extension that of applied and computational mathematics, over the past 50 years.

Readers are asked to search their memories for stories like that related by Philip Davis and to send them along to SIAM. Material can take the form of anecdotes, photographs, or leads to any such information; it can pertain to any aspect of SIAM, any area of applied and computational mathematics, from any institution, company, or government lab, anywhere in the world. SIAM executive director James Crowley ( awaits your contributions!

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