SIAM News Blog

Brian Winkel of SIMIODE Writes About SIAM

The following is blog post was written by Brian Winkel, Director of SIMIODE. SIMIODE is an education community where modeling comes first in teaching differential equations. They provide traditional text material and many, many modeling scenarios to use as introduction and motivator for the rich study of differential equations through modeling and technology.

In this time of awareness blitz there are groups that can really make a difference in what they offer us as teachers in undergraduate mathematics. One of these is the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). I have been a member of SIAM for almost as long as I have been a member of MAA (over 50 years) and AMS. I strongly recommend you consider joining SIAM, for SIAM provides a wealth – make that a goldmine – of resources for those of us who wish to do more applications and modeling in our coursework.  SIAM is leading in conjunction with other organization, e.g., COMAP and ICM/MCM and Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. But make no mistake SIAM IS LEADING!!!

As a member of SIAM I get a monthly email with loads, I mean treasure trove loads, of news about applied mathematics. They call it SIAM Unwrapped (you can see what you have been missing at SIAM Unwrapped) and it is jammed packed with fascinating news and materials if you are interested in learning about applications of mathematics for you and your students.  All too often we, and our friends in the public, see news of mathematics in the form of an article about finding a new largest prime number (and as one who founded a journal on cryptology, Cryptologia, in 1977 I am not averse to prime numbers, especially in the use of crypto efforts!). However, we need to bring forth the amazing things mathematics can and does do for us everyday in industry and applied mathematics and what better organization to do this than a society for INDUSTRIAL and APPLIED MATHEMATICS (SIAM!) Duh!!

I often consume hours probing the offerings in that email. I visit sites, I read material, I watch videos, I ponder the implications for me intellectually, I relate to what others say in my role as Director of SIMIODE, and I just downright revel in the energy at SIAM. The output SIAM offers is wonderful!!! Yes the MAA is getting with it in terms of undergraduate mathematics education (frankly, too slow for me and with not as many applications as would like to see, indeed, the MAA’s reluctance to address undergraduate mathematics teaching issues was why I founded the journal PRIMUS – Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies in 1991) and even the AMS is featuring special sessions on undergraduate mathematics education. As one example, we sponsored one last JMM 2017 in Atlanta, AMS Special Session on the Modeling First Approach to Teaching Differential Equations. But hands down SIAM is the leader in spreading the word about applicable mathematics for us as undergraduate teachers. So join SIAM and support the efforts, and selfishly, bathe in the news SIAM offers.

SIAM offers day to day helpful material through videos and instructional material. And while much of this is FREEly available through the web you want to be a part of supporting these efforts for they are our collective future in quality applicable mathematics education K–16.

When SIAM directs me to Moody’s Mega Math Challenge I find a Math Modeling Handbook whose subtitle is Getting Started and Getting Solutions. It is beautifully authored by Karen Bliss, Katie Fowler, and Ben Galluzzo. This is a nuts and bolts, how-to book with rich illustrations, attention to detail, and rich assessment ideas as well. I also find a VERY rich set of resources at M3 challenge resources page.

Recently this email brought the following to my attention. It is a wonderful video, “Teaching Math Modeling: An Introductory Exercise,” by Dan Teague a master at teaching his students and fellow teachers the art and science of mathematical modeling. You have to check this out.  It was put up on YouTube on 5 December 2016 with this description, “We have heard time and time again that educators are interested in bringing math modeling into their classrooms but aren't sure where to start. That's why - at the 2016 SIAM Conference on Applied Mathematics Education [first such conference held in Philadelphia PA, October 2016]- we featured a workshop helping K-12 teachers answer that important question - how can I bring math modeling into my classroom in a feasible way? This video series highlights the workshop and will be a valuable resource as you work to make the math in YOUR classroom more applied. Here, in video 3 of 3, we walk through a specific introductory exercise led by Daniel Teague of North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Want more? Additional free resources are available here:”

You can also go to SIAM’s YouTube channel for more material and even so much more than more! Go there now. DO not wait. Then join SIAM. It is important to invest in our institutions and SIAM is a vital and growing institution!

There is so much more. I could go on listing the goodies and the stimulating pieces. I have not even mentioned the great publication SIAM News and the many journals of SIAM, especially SIAM Review with its education column. . . . there I go again, non-stop praise. Gotta stop for now.  I really am going to stop ranting now about SIAM and get back to reading more of this Month’s email about many more applicable mathematics. I suggest you join SIAM and get your own newsletter and get your mind deeply engaged in finding and then bringing applied mathematics to your students in your teaching. SIAM is THE source for this. Just DO IT!!

P.S. Cannot forget to give a shout out to Teaching Mathematical Modeling to Students – the GAIMME Report.  Must reading for all in our field.

This post originally appeared on the SIMIODE blog.

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