Promoting Women in Mathematics: Carnegie Mellonís Irene Fonseca Selected Speaker for the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture

July 20, 2006

The AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture was established in 2002 and is given annually at the SIAM Annual Meeting. This year's meeting was held in Boston, July 10Ė14, 2006. The lecture is intended to highlight significant contributions of women to applied or computational mathematics. Irene Fonseca, this year's lecturer, was chosen in recognition of her fundamental contributions and leadership in analysis and applied mathematics, especially in nonlinear partial differential equations and the calculus of variations. Her lecture was titled "New Challenges in the Calculus of Variations."

With applications from materials science to image reconstruction, Dr. Fonseca's work includes nearly 100 papers which have set new directions and challenges. Her notable service record includes boards of several major institutes, international meetings, and publication and professional societies. She has initiated programs to attract young researchers, and her former postdocs and students can be found at distinguished institutions. She is an inspiration to the entire mathematics community, especially to the women's mathematics community.

Irene Fonseca is the Director of the (NSF funded) Center for Nonlinear Analysis in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, whose primary focus is the nonlinear behavior of novel man-made materials and related issues in analysis and computation. Her research program includes the mathematical study of shape memory alloys, ferroelectric, magnetic and magnetostrictive materials, composites, liquid crystals, thin films, phase transitions, and image segmentation in computer vision.

She received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Lisbon, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. In 1997, she received the Grande Oficial da Ordem Militar de Sant'Iagoda da Espada, bestowed by the President of Portugal, and, in 2004, the Women of Distinction Award in Mathematics and Technology.

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) was founded in 1952 to support and encourage the important industrial role that applied mathematics and computational science play in advancing science and technology. Along with publishing top-rated journals, books, and SIAM News, SIAM holds about 12 conferences per year. There are also currently 45 SIAM Student Chapters and 15 SIAM Activity Groups.

SIAM's 2006 Annual Meeting themes included dynamical systems, industrial problems,
mathematical biology, numerical analysis, orthogonal polynomials and partial differential equations.

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