SIAM News Blog

2013 SIAM Annual Meeting & Conference on Control and its Applications

Bruce Hendrickson and Hinke Osinga, co-chairs of the organizing committee for the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting (San Diego, July 8–12), set out to create a program that would reflect as closely as possible the themes of Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013. They quickly realized that just about everything the SIAM community does falls in some sense under MPE. From the opening talk, by Lada Adamic on the ways in which information is shared (and transformed), through John Burns’s plenary talk (joint with the control conference) on energy-efficient whole-building systems, to the sessions on the final day, speakers touched on issues and problems facing everyone on the planet. Hendrickson and Osinga also sought to keep the meeting vibrant right up to the end. They are shown in the accompanying image gallery with several of the people who helped them meet both goals: Benjamin Santer, who titled his invited talk “The Search for a Human Fingerprint in the Changing Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere”; Chandrika Kamath and John Zack, co-organizers of a minisymposium on forecasting wind and solar power production (also the subject of Zack’s invited talk); and Mary Silber, organizer and speaker in a session on tipping points.

As always, the prize lunch was a highlight of the meeting, with plenty of socializing as SIAM president Irene Fonseca had the pleasant duty of presenting a bevy of prizes and awards. (Some of the recipients are pictured here; others will be featured in future issues of SIAM News.) Lunch was followed by Stan Osher’s John von Neumann Lecture; well attended even for the most venerable of SIAM’s prize lectures, this one required the hasty addition of several rows of extra seats. Osher (below) did not disappoint, offering up big new ideas, and in some cases unexpectedly connecting old ideas with very up-to-date themes, in a lecture titled “What Sparsity and \(\ell_1\) Can Do for You.” 

Aptly, the 2013 W.T. and Idalia Reid Prize was awarded in San Diego to Tyrone Duncan, a control theorist. Cited by the prize committee for “fundamental contributions to nonlinear filtering, stochastic control, and the relation between probability and geometry,” Duncan gave a prize lecture titled “Solvability for Stochastic Control Problems,” which also found a receptive audience. Fariba Fahroo and Wei Kang co-chaired the organizing committee for the control conference.

For 2013, SIAM members elected 33 new Fellows, on the basis of “outstanding contributions to fields served by SIAM”; the 15 who attended the meeting were recognized at the prize lunch and are pictured in the image gallery.

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Nominations for the next (2014) class of SIAM Fellows are due November 4, 2013. A reminder to prospective nominators:

“Research excellence is one criterion for selection but it is not meant to be the only one. The Fellows program is also intended to recognize excellence in industrial work (that might or might not involve traditional research), excellence in educational activities that reach a broad audience, or other forms of excellence directly related to the goals of SIAM.”

SIAM is clearly the home of many talented, productive mathematical scientists. Many of them are women, many live and work outside the U.S., and many are from groups underrepresented in the mathematical sciences. To date, SIAM’s Fellows program has not honored members of these groups in proportion to their numbers in the membership. Correction of the imbalance begins with the nomination process!

Details can be found here.

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