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UQ and a Model Inverse Problem

By Marco Iglesias, Andrew M. Stuart
Quantifying uncertainty in the solution of inverse problems is an exciting area of research in the mathematical sciences, one that raises significant challenges at the interfaces between analysis, computation, probability, and statistics. The reach in terms of applicability is enormous, with diverse problems arising in the physical, biological, and social sciences, such as weather prediction, epidemiology, and traffic flow.
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Levin Honored for Work on Sustainable Complex Ecosystems

On April 25, at a ceremony held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Simon A. Levin of Princeton University received the 41st Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. The international prize, established by John and Alice Tyler in 1973, recognizes individuals who have “made outstanding contributions to scientific knowledge and public leadership to preserve and enhance the environment of the world."

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By Alan Hastings

BOOK REVIEWLetters to a Young Scientist. By E.O. Wilson, Liveright, New York, 2013, 256 pages, $21.95.

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By James Case

In 1998, Stephen Smale compiled a list of 18 challenge problems for the 21st century. Two of them—the Riemann hypothesis, at #8, and a problem concerning the topology of algebraic curves and surfaces, at #16, were held over from Hilbert’s more famous list of 23 challenge problems for the 20th century. Others were unmistakably 20th century in origin, including #3, P = NP?; #18, concerning the limits of intelligence; and #17, which asks for an algorithm capable of computing approximately, in low-order polynomial average time, a single zero of a system of \(n\) polynomial equations in \(n\) complex unknowns. Michael Shub, whose 1967 UC Berkeley thesis on dynamical systems was directed by Smale, and who is currently an adjunct professor of mathematics at the CUNY Graduate School, surveyed progress toward a solution of Smale’s 17th problem in an invited talk at the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting.

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Modeling the Tohoku Earthquake

Coinciding with the third anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, Jeremy Kozdon, an assistant professor of applied mathematics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, narrated a video about his collaborative work in earthquake modeling with Eric Dunham (an assistant professor of geophysics at Stanford University).* Periodically, written questions appear in the video; they were posed by interviewer Margot Gerritsen of Stanford, where Kozdon was a postdoc in geophysics before moving to NPS. Kozdon’s story of the unexpected, and gratifying, use of his group’s code and models by other scientists should be inspiring to applied and computational mathematicians, especially young people in search of an application area in which they can put their knowledge and interests to good use. This article presents highlights from the video.
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Richard Tapia Receives NSB Vannevar Bush Award

By Carlos Castillo-Chavez
Richard Tapia of Rice University has received the National Science Board’s 2014 Vannevar Bush Award. Honored at a banquet and award ceremony at the State Department on May 6, Tapia was cited for “his extraordinary leadership, inspiration, and advocacy to increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities in science; distinguished public service leadership in science and engineering; and exceptional contributions to mathematics in the area of computational optimization.”
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By Philip J. Davis

BOOK REVIEW: The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball. By Benjamin Baumer and Andrew Zimbalist, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2014, 240 pages, $26.50. 

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International Agenda for KAUST’s UQ Center

The two-year-old Center for Uncertainty Quantification at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology exemplifies the connections forged by KAUST with universities, professional societies, and industry worldwide. KAUST established the center in mid-2012, following a worldwide competition for Strategic Research Initiatives. 
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