SIAM News Blog

Dr. Suzanne L. Weekes Named SIAM Executive Director

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Welcomes New Executive Director

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) has announced the appointment of Dr. Suzanne L. Weekes, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, ad interim, and Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), to the position of Executive Director. In her new role, Weekes will continue to build SIAM’s reputation as the leading professional society for applied mathematicians and computational scientists.

With a B.S. in Mathematics from Indiana University, a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Scientific Computing from the University of Michigan and having done her post-doctoral work at Texas A&M University, Weekes serves on SIAM’s Council and is a member of the Science Policy committees of both the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and SIAM. As part of her science policy work, Weekes recently chaired the SIAM Task Force on Future Research Directions for NSF in the Era of COVID-19, the goal of which was to make recommendations to NSF on future applied mathematics and computational science research directions given the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After nearly six months of interviewing many extraordinary and passionate candidates, the search committee is proud to appoint Suzanne as SIAM’s third Executive Director,” said Margot Gerritsen, Chair of the SIAM Board of Trustees. “In Suzanne’s words, ‘SIAM is the voice of applied mathematics’ and we know that under her leadership, that voice will sound clear and true.”

Weekes is also an At-Large Member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and is a member of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM). She is the recipient of a 2020 Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). She also received the 2019 Humphreys Award for Mentoring from AWM. Weekes is a past Chair of the SIAM Education Committee and was the faculty founder of the WPI SIAM Student Chapter in 2003, where she has served as the faculty advisor to the chapter since.

“SIAM has always been a special and important organization to me, personally and professionally,” Weekes commented. “In fact, the SIAM Annual Meeting was the first conference I attended when I was a graduate student in the 90s, and a couple years later, the first conference at which I presented. The organization has been instrumental in my career, and what a culmination of that to now have the honor of serving as Executive Director.”

Weekes’ research work is in numerical methods for differential equations including applications to spatio-temporal composites and cancer growth. She is also focused on initiatives connecting the academic mathematics community to mathematics and statistics work in business, industry, and government, and is passionate about making the mathematical sciences accessible to the public. 

“COVID-19 has driven home the critical importance of science, technology, and math,” says Weekes. “In this pandemic era, we are relying on scientists to help us understand, analyze, and solve critical problems – to make us healthy and keep us safe. Research coming out of the SIAM community reflects the best of modern science and technology. We need to make sure that the public and policymakers understand the importance and impact of what applied mathematicians and computational scientists do.”

Weekes will begin her new role January 1, 2021 and succeeds Dr. James M. Crowley, who served SIAM for 25 years as Executive Director and recently retired. Read Jim's SIAM News tribute here.

Thank you to the diligent and exhaustive work of the search committee, including: Lisa Fauci (SIAM President), Susanne C. Brenner (SIAM President-Elect), Sam Gubins (SIAM Treasurer), Susan Palantino (SIAM Chief Operating Officer), Kivmars Bowling (SIAM Publications Director), Annie Imperatrice (SIAM Project Manager), Tom Grandine (Boeing), Bruce Hendrickson (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), David Gleich (Purdue University), and Margot Gerritsen (Chair of the SIAM Board, Search Committee Chair).

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