SIAM News Blog

COMSATS University Islamabad SIAM Student Chapter Holds Event on Recent Developments in Applied and Computational Mathematics

By Fatima Sehar and Bareerah Suhail

Mathematics is an integral part of our day-to-day life, and the use of mathematical reasoning is becoming more and more common with advances in scientific computing and machine learning. We have been fortunate to witness some amazing breakthroughs as mathematical activities have changed significantly over the years. To shed some light on novel research and provide students with a vast perspective on the importance of mathematics as a fundamental building block, the COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) SIAM Student Chapter organized a One-day International Conference on Recent Developments in Applied and Computational Mathematics on May 31, 2022. Several national and international speakers were invited to impart their knowledge on recent trends in mathematics. This conference proved to be a huge success for both the CUI SIAM Student Chapter and Department of Mathematics and became the largest gathering of mathematicians that COMSATS has ever hosted.

The conference started at 9:30 a.m. with a soulful recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by the national anthem of Pakistan. Mehmood ul Hassan (head of CUI’s Department of Mathematics) gave a motivating welcome speech that appreciated the organizers’ efforts in arranging such an informative conference to complement academic studies. He hoped to have more such activities in the future.

Shamsul Qamar (Incharge academics and chairperson of the Department of Mathematics at CUI) gave the conference’s opening remarks. He expressed his happiness in contributing to the organizing committee and motivated students to participate enthusiastically in the event. The chief guest was Sajjad A. Madani (registrar at CUI), who encouraged the students to take part in such conferences to gain new ideas, learn best practices, and grow academically and professionally. The hosts then proceeded to the main topic of the conference by introducing the first speaker: Abdul Qayyum Khaliq, a tenured professor at Middle Tennessee State University in the U.S. Khaliq has received many awards due to his research contributions and is the two-time recipient of the Distinguished Research Award from Middle Tennessee State University. He enlightened the audience by sharing his views on a COVID-19 case study in a talk titled "Deep data-driven neural networks for mathematical models.” Khaliq shared that he felt quite nostalgic to be presenting at COMSATS after being away for several years. His presentation centered on the topic of deep learning, and he began by explaining the difference between machine learning and deep learning. His humorous remarks and interesting stories kept the students engaged as he discussed a case study for the application of deep learning models to COVID-19 and the challenges of deep learning. Khaliq concluded his speech by giving a preface of his current research on graph neural networks, physics-informed neural networks/deep operator networks, and the solution of partial differential equations.

Next, the hosts introduced the conference’s second speaker: Tariq Shah, a professor and chairperson of the Department of Mathematics at Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. He presented his views on the topic of "Algebraic structures used in data transmission and security.” Shah explained algebraic structures and their uses in a very detailed manner, emphasizing the fact that research is a slow process. He encouraged the students to have perseverance and always focus on the quality of their work rather than the quantity. 

Aneela Zameer, a professor and head of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, presented the third talk of the conference. Her topic of interest was “Long short-term memory (LSTM) for time series forecasting.” She first discussed the machine learning-based regression models for univariate and multivariate time series data, then moved toward the topic of recurrent neural networks. Her presentation featured LSTM’s key elements, limitations, comparison with existing techniques, and hybrid models.

The guests then enjoyed a short break to relax and eat lunch. Mahwish Bano, an assistant professor at Air University in Islamabad, then presented the fourth talk on “Contributions to image encryption using various algorithmic techniques.” Her lectures were quite engaging for the students since she illustrated the process of encryption via real-life examples and explained the logic behind the process in detail. 

With all these illuminating topics of discussion, Wajid Kamran (the deputy registrar of CUI) amused the audience with a performance that displayed his talent for playing the flute and connecting music with mathematics. The students were quite amazed at how he related the basics of music with the basics of mathematics through concepts like intervals, supersets, subsets, and sequences. On this note, the conference proceeded to the last talk by Iftikhar Ahmed, an assistant professor in CUI’s Department of Mathematics. Ahmed’s lecture on “Optimal control of dengue disease through Wolbachia” was integrated with engaging graphics and attracted much attention from students of the life sciences. Each talk also included a question-and-answer session at the end to address the audience’s queries. This interactive component led to the final stage of the one-day international conference. 

The chief guest for the closing ceremony was Sajid Qamar (dean of the Faculty of Science at CUI), who distributed shields among the speakers and organizers. He appreciated the CUI SIAM Student Chapter’s efforts to arrange such a wonderful scientific activity and thanked the speakers for sparing their valuable time to share their knowledge with the faculty and students. Abdullah Shah, a tenured professor at CUI and faculty advisor of the CUI SIAM Student chapter, concluded the event with an overview of the Chapter’s overall progress and explanation of how SIAM is working smartly to encourage student participation in such events. He thanked the speakers, organizers, and participants for making the conference successful. He also acknowledged the financial support from CUI’s student affair office under Kamyab Jawan Markaz by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

Every talk at the conference proved to be a great source of inspiration for understanding how life revolves around mathematics. The CUI SIAM Student Chapter believes that it is extremely important to hold such events and learn practical applications in order to become contributing members of society.

Photos courtesy of Kamran Ashiq and Esha Ghazali.

Fatima Sehar and Bareerah Suhail are B.S. students of mathematics at COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI). Sehar is the content team head for the CUI SIAM Student Chapter and Suhail serves the Chapter as a member of the content team.

blog comments powered by Disqus