Election 2008: SIAM Chooses Board and Council Members, Votes In a New Program

January 10, 2009

Talk of the Society
James Crowley

Each fall, the SIAM membership votes to fill three seats on the Board of Trustees and four on the Council. The results for 2008 are in (and posted on the SIAM Web site). The two incumbents who ran for re-election to the Board---Iain Duff (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) and Nick Higham (University of Manchester)---have retained their seats, and the Board enters the new year with one newly elected member, Mary Ann Horn (Vanderbilt University). Because of term limits, Henry Wolkowicz (University of Waterloo) was the only member of the SIAM Council available to run for re-election, which he won; as of January 1, the Council also welcomes three new members: Michele Benzi (Emory University), Bruce Hendrickson (Sandia National Laboratories), and Thomas Hou (California Institute of Technology).

Making things lively on the 2008 ballot was a special item: a referendum on the creation of a SIAM fellows program. A simple majority was required for approval, and 63.5% of SIAM members who voted were in favor of the program.

The first phase of the proposed fellows program called for automatic identification of the initial group of fellows, based on a set of objective criteria. We will notify those included in that first set in the early spring of 2009, and they will be recognized in July, at the 2009 SIAM Annual Meeting in Denver.

The nomination process for the first elected class of fellows will begin in the fall of 2009. Members will be notified when the Web site for making nominations is operational.

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Doug Arnold (University of Minnesota), whose year as president-elect ended on December 31, began his two-year term as SIAM president on January 1. As shown in the photo at the top of this page, he was an active president-elect, already working to carry out his goal of strengthening SIAM worldwide, in part through effective reciprocity agreements with societies around the world and additional joint activities.

As we lose a vice president every other year, we gain a past president, the title Cleve Moler will hold in the coming year.

Not all SIAM leadership positions are filled by election. In addition to the positions mentioned here, the SIAM president appoints people to several key vice presidencies, two of which---vice president for programs, vice president for publications---will become open at the end of 2009. Members can suggest people for those positions by writing to me (jcrowley@siam.org) or to the SIAM president (arnold@ima.umn.edu).

With respect to vice presidencies, SIAM created a new one in 2008: As of January 1, we have a vice president for science policy---Reinhard Laubenbacher (Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Virginia Tech), who was appointed by SIAM president Cleve Moler, working with president-elect Doug Arnold and Marty Golubitsky, chair of the Committee on Science Policy. Laubenbacher, who attended the December 2–3 meeting of the CSP, will chair the group at subsequent meetings; in creating the position, the Council and Board were essentially making the CSP chair a vice president and thus an ex officio member of the Council. One result will be a regular semi-annual report on science policy issues to the Council and Board.

Thanks from SIAM
SIAM thanks all who voted and everyone who was willing to stand for office. We are all grateful to Board member Petter Bjørstad (University of Bergen) and to Council members Andrea Bertozzi (UCLA), William Briggs (University of Colorado, Denver), Carlos Castillo-Chavez (Arizona State University), and Andrew Wathen (Oxford University), whose terms ended in December 2008.


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