SIAM Student Chapters are Active!

October 18, 2007

From left to right: Sean Hardesty (treasurer, Rice Chapter), Curtis Wesley president, Texas Tech Chapter), Sam Feng (president, Rice Chapter), Ryan Nong (secretary, Rice Chapter), Jay Raol (vice president, Rice Chapter), Todd Arbogast (faculty advisor, UT Austin Chapter), Pearl Flath (president, UT Austin Chapter), Clint Dawson (faculty advisor, UT Austin Chapter, and TAMMS keynote speaker), Bill Bymes (Rice University, TAMMS keynote speaker).

Here's a sample of some of the exciting programs that SIAM Student Chapters sponsored during the 2006-2007 academic year. SIAM provided over $17,000 to 37 chapters to support these activities and much more.

Regional conferences

University of Colorado Chapters at Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver organized the third SIAM Front Range Applied Mathematics Student Conference in Denver.

Emory University Chapter hosted the first annual ACES workshop including 17 graduate student speakers from Auburn, Clemson, Emory, North Carolina State, and University of South Carolina at Columbia.

University of Texas at Austin Chapter hosted the first annual Texas Applied Mathematics Meeting for Students (TAMMS) which was attended by students from UT Austin, Rice University, Texas Tech University, and Texas A&M University. The conference included two keynote speakers and 12 student speakers.


►Rice University Chapter members Jay Raol, Sean Hardesty, Jesse Turner and Rami Namour mentor underprivileged students from a local minority high school.

►Texas Tech University Chapter sponsored a booth to answer questions about majoring in math at University Day, a campus-wide organization fair for new and prospective students and their parents. Chapter members also acted as judges for the regional science fair and chose the project that had the most interesting use of mathematics. The selected student was recognized at the end-of-the-year department banquet.

►University of Arizona Chapter led a math presentation for 8 to12-year-olds at the AIAA/Space Grant Kid's Club. They showed the kids different ways of approaching and solving math problems, including puzzles and tessellation creation.

►Virginia Tech Chapter organized a two-credit undergraduate mini-course in mathematical modeling for the fall 2007. The course was inspired by COMAP's Math Contest in Modeling (MCM).


►Middle East Technical University Chapter organized a series of events to celebrate Mathematics Awareness Month, including seminars on The Inverse Problem of Magnetoencepkalography: Sourse Localization and The Shape of Ball by Neslihan Özmen, Fatma Yerlikaya, and Doğa Gürsoy; and Iterative Methods for Discrete Tomography Implementation & Comparison Kaczmarz's Method and Conjugate Gradient Least Squares Method by Nurgül Gökgöz, Serdar Tanıl, and Ahmet Onur.

►SIAM Gators (University of Florida) Chapter sponsored regular talks by faculty and students from the mathematics, statistics, and computer science departments so that graduate students could develop awareness about current research in different fields while exchanging ideas with faculty in an informal atmosphere.

►Stanford University Chapter sponsored the Symposium on Current Research in Applied Math and Engineering (SCREAM) featuring a series of student research talks in computational mathematics and engineering, and a presentation on Recent Progress in Fast and Accurate Linear Algebra by guest lecturer James Demmel from the University of California at Berkeley.

►University of Colorado at Boulder Graduate Chapter (CU Boulder) organizes weekly informal meetings for students to meet, discuss, and learn about applied mathematics in a low-key atmosphere.

►University of Illinois at Chicago Chapter sponsored presentations including Spectral Stability of Traveling Water Waves by David Nicholls, Massage: Collaborative Visualization using Mobile Device Clusters by Xun Luo, and Water Wave Theory and some of its Applications by Jerry Bona, and How to use MSCS department computing resources by the director of computing.

►University of Maryland Chapter sponsored the second annual Graduation Conference to celebrate the research efforts of graduating members of the math, stat, and AMSC programs. The conference included 21 student presentations, a keynote lecture, and a panel of six alumni now in industry and academia to discuss Life after Your Graduate Degree.

University of Washington Chapter held a weekly graduate student seminar featuring student speakers from a variety of fields and departments including applied math, biochemistry, and atmospheric sciences as well as faculty candidates from Harvard Medical School, UC Davis Computer Science, and Princeton Neuroscience.

Virginia Tech Chapter sponsored their biweekly student research seminar featuring speakers from Virginia Tech and other schools. The presentations afforded students the opportunity to get a detailed look into the successful research of their peers, to get to know new interesting areas, and to refine their own presentation skills.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Chapter assisted the math department in organizing "Cool Math Talks" featuring talks by Brigitte Servatius on A Beautiful Mind and Hyperperfect Numbers and PhD student Casey Richardson on Why you need Measure Theory in Fracture Mechanics. Chapter members Jessica Clark and Sayan Mondal participated in the Worcester Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium (WUMS) at the College of Holy Cross.

Invited speakers

Arizona State University Chapter invited Dr. Carlos Hernandez Suarez from Universidad de Colima in Mexico to present Urn Models in Epidemiology explaining how urn models can be used to explain both simple concepts in epidemic models to nonmathematicians as well as advanced concepts to peers.

Barcelona Chapter offered a series of four "junior" lectures to introduce undergraduate math students to industrial and applied mathematics. Speakers included Tim Meyers, Cape Town University; S. John Hogan, University of Bristol; May-Win Thein, University of New Hampshire; and Xavier Alameda, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

Clarkson University Chapter – VLP speaker John Hamilton from Kodak Research Labs presented Algorithms for Digital Color Cameras followed by a discussion of mathematics in industry.

North Carolina State University Chapter invited Tammy Kolda, Sandia National Laboratory, to inform chapter members about How to Give a Talk.

►Tufts University Chapter sponsored a lunch with the mathematics department Wiener lecturer James A. Yorke, University of Maryland.

University of Delaware Chapter sponsored VLP speaker Philip Holmes, Princeton University, who presented How do cockroaches run so fast without thinking to a standing room crowd of faculty and students from departments all over campus.

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Chapter co-sponsored a keynote talk by Paul Fischer of Argonne National Lab, on Accurate, Stable, and Scalable Algorithms for Convection-Dominated Flows at the UIUC applied math department Computational Science and Engineering Annual Research Symposium.

University of South Carolina at Columbia Chapter hosted John Burkardt, Florida State University, who did a presentation on Turning Data into Information with the SVD.

Washington University Chapter invited speakers Katherine Rink, from Lincoln Laboratory at MIT, to discuss work being done there on systems engineering, and Marcos Chu, from INCOSE and Boeing, to talk about the future of the field of systems engineering.

Careers in mathematics

►Rice University Chapter – Rice alumni E. McKay Hyde of Goldman Sachs and Ramesh Neelamani of ExxonMobil returned to Rice to talk to chapter members about their experiences working in industry.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Chapter hosted Ronald Mosier, now retired from Chrysler, in the Math Hour series to talk informally with students about his career in mathematics.

Field trips

Tufts University Chapter sponsored field trips to Rakesh Vankatesh's lab in the mechanical engineering department at Tufts University to see procedures for making and testing ceramics, and to Schlumberger Research in Cambridge to meet with researchers to learn what the company does and what job opportunities exist there.

►Worcester Polytechnic Institute Chapter sponsored a field trip to The MathWorks, Inc., in Massachusetts.


Arizona State University Chapter signed up to clean the ASU football stadium after a game to generate extra funds to bring in additional speakers and hold more events.

University of Delaware Chapter added a chapter on linear algebra to their Handbook of Equations and continued to raise funds for chapter activities by selling the handbook to fellow students.

►Many chapter activities were also funded by their student government organizations and their departmental budgets.

Social activities

►Various chapters hosted social activities including bowling, barbecue with bocce ball tournament, movie night to watch A Beautiful Mind, game night, and pot luck dinners.

For information on setting up a SIAM chapter at your institution, visit or contact SIAM Membership Manager Susan Whitehouse at or SIAM Vice President for Education Bill Briggs at

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