SIAM News Blog

A Second Doubling for SIAM’s Student Travel Fund

From the SIAM President

By Irene Fonseca

Each year, SIAM awards grants to hundreds of students for travel to SIAM conferences around the world, as part of its ongoing commitment to cultivating and training a new generation of mathematical scientists.

When it was launched several years ago, the Student Travel Fund relied primarily on National Science Foundation grants and donations of royalties by generous SIAM book authors. From there, it grew to include donations from the general SIAM membership (via a checkbox on the membership renewal form).

Joscha Gedicke of Humboldt University of Berlin accepted a 2013 SIAM Student Paper Prize from Irene Fonseca. The two other recipients were Keiichi Morikuni of the Graduate University of Advanced Studies (Sokendai), Japan, and Vladislav Voroninski of the University of California, Berkeley; all three gave talks based on their papers in a mini-symposium at the SIAM Annual Meeting.
In 2011, under the leadership of my predecessor, then-SIAM president Nick Trefethen, the SIAM Board of Trustees decided to allocate $100,000 each year to the Student Travel Fund.

SIAM’s commitment to its student network continues: most notably, at its July 2013 meeting, the Board elected to double the annual investment, to $200,000, starting in 2014. As of January 2014, SIAM will make approximately $250,000–$275,000 available each year for Student Travel Awards.

Practically speaking, students anywhere in the world can apply for SIAM Student Travel Awards; preference is given to active meeting participants (speakers, poster presenters). Only the NSF portion of the fund is restricted—to students enrolled in U.S. institutions.

If you are interested in applying for a SIAM Student Travel Award, please check the eligibility criteria (funds are also available for postdocs and early-career professionals; these awards, currently much more limited than the Student Travel Awards, are supported only by an NSF grant to SIAM).

At the root of the Board’s generosity is SIAM’s mission of encouraging students to participate in SIAM conferences. To motivate award recipients’ institutions to help co-finance their students’ participation in SIAM events, the awards are generally limited in size. Nevertheless, SIAM hopes that these funds will make a real difference, enabling a growing number of mathematical scientists at the very beginning of their careers to play active roles in our conferences and in SIAM.

Irene Fonseca is president of SIAM, the Mellon College of Science University Professor of Mathematics, and director of the Center for Nonlinear Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University.

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