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The Dark Side of Image Reconstruction

By Rebecca Willett
Many scientific and engineering applications rely on the accurate reconstruction of spatially, spectrally, and temporally distributed phenomena from photon-limited data. Night vision, with small amounts of light incident upon a camera’s aperture, is a classic example of photon-limited imaging. Photon limitations are also pervasive in fluorescence microscopy. Here, high-quality raw images with large photon counts require (a) long data acquisition times that limit experimental throughput and preclude moving specimens, (b) high laser power that kills living specimens, or (c) large quantities of fluorescent dye that are toxic for living cells. Photon-limited spectral imaging, in which we measure a scene’s luminosity at each spatial location for many narrow spectral bands, plays a critical role in environmental monitoring, astronomy, and emerging medical imaging modalities, such as spectral computed tomography.
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Exploring Connectivity in the Brain’s Network of Neurons

By Eric Shea-Brown

The brain has long presented an amazing challenge for applied mathematics: A complete model would require ~1011 highly nonlinear neurons, interacting nonlinearly and stochastically through rapid voltage fluctuations (called “spikes”) on a complex and dynamic network. But we are in an especially wonderful time for the field, as technical breakthroughs are yielding unprecedented data about both the brain’s network architecture and about its activity. There is a major opportunity to integrate this data into a new understanding of how the connectivity among neurons leads to their collective dynamics and, eventually, to their astonishing collective function. Mathematics and scientific computation will play a key role; researchers worldwide, including members of the SIAM community, are hard at work. Our group and our collaborators have the joy of being a part of this effort, and I describe some of our experiences in what follows.


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Harold Kuhn, a professor emeritus of mathematical economics at Princeton University and an early president of SIAM, died on July 2. He was 88.
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Euclidean Distance Degree

By Rekha R. Thomas
Many models in the sciences and engineering arise as the set of real solutions to systems of multivariate polynomial equations with real coefficients. In practice, model observations are often noisy and may not satisfy all the equations. In such situations, the problem usually solved is that of finding the maximum likelihood estimate of the noisy sample. If the distribution of noise is Gaussian, the problem reduces to finding the closest point in Euclidean distance from the noisy sample to the model. For example, in the triangulation problem in computer vision, which is concerned with the reconstruction of three-dimensional scenes from camera images, the model is the set of possible images of points in three-dimensional space observed by a given set of cameras. This space of images can be described by certain quadratic and cubic polynomials in the coordinates of the images. The task here is to find a set of true images that are closest in Euclidean distance to a given set of noisy images.
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Hong Kong Hosts 2014 SIAG/IS Conference

The 2014 SIAM Conference on Imaging Science, held at Hong Kong Baptist University, May 12–14, drew approximately 580 scientists from all over the world, including 168 students. Sponsored by the SIAM Activity Group on Imaging Science, the biennial conference gives those working in the field a forum for exchanging research results and addressing open issues in all aspects of imaging science. Barbara Kaltenbacher (University of Klagenfurt, Austria), Michael Ng (Hong Kong Baptist University, China), and Fadil Santosa (University of Minnesota, USA) co-chaired the organizing committee for what was the first conference of a SIAM Activity Group held in Asia. 
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Golub Summer School in Optimization Draws 45 Students to Linz

From August 4 through 15, 45 students representing six continents took part in the Gene Golub SIAM Summer School, held at RICAM, the Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics, on the campus of Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria.
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SIAM Prizes, Chicago, 2014 Annual Meeting

Other 2014 prize recipients were featured in the September issue of SIAM News; still others will appear in upcoming issues.
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By Xiaoming Huo, Jennifer Pearl, Henry Warchall, Michael Vogelius
With this update on funding opportunities at the National Science Foundation, we draw readers’ attention to interdisciplinary programs and workforce-development programs of the Division of Mathematical Sciences that should be of particular interest to the mathematical sciences community.  While the bulk (roughly 75%) of the DMS investment in mathematical sciences research is through the DMS Disciplinary Research Programs, DMS is also a partner in several crosscutting initiatives. Moreover,  DMS itself has a significant workforce-development activity, encompassing four programs:  Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MSPRF), Enhanced Doctoral Training (EDT), Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), and Research Training Groups (RTG). 

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With the launch of the federal Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, neuroscience and cognitive science have become major priorities of the Obama administration, numerous federal agencies, and private partners. As the accompanying article demonstrates, mathematicians have much to contribute toward progress in these fields. The BRAIN initiative seeks to enhance the development and application of new technologies that will revolutionize our understanding of the brain. Three primary agencies are engaged in the initiative:  the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation, and there are opportunities for the SIAM community to engage with each.  
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An Invitation from the Research Spotlights Section of <em>SIAM Review</em>

The Research Spotlights section of SIAM Review, like each of the journal’s three other sections, has a specific mission. Research Spotlights articles feature timely research topics or software with broad appeal to the SIREV readership. We invite members of the community to submit articles for the Research Spotlights section.
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Recent visitors to the website of SIAM News might have a sense of shifting ground––and justly so.
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Conferences & Events

September 08, 2014 To December 05, 2014

ICERM Semester Program: High Dimensional Approximation

November 13, 2014 To November 15, 2014

SIAM Conference on Financial Mathematics and Engineering (FM14)

November 14, 2014 To November 15, 2014

Blackwell-Tapia Conference and Awards Ceremony

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Upcoming SIAM Events

November 13, 2014 To November 15, 2014

SIAM Conference on Financial Mathematics and Engineering (FM14)

January 04, 2015 To January 06, 2015

ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA15)

January 04, 2015

Analytic Algorithmics and Combinatorics (ANALCO15)

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