SIAM News Blog

Introducing SIAM’s Newest Leadership

Following SIAM’s recent elections, we are pleased to announce our new members of the Board of Trustees and Council, as elected by the SIAM membership.

The Board is responsible for the management of SIAM, taking into account the professional and scientific policies and objectives of SIAM. The Board also has full legal control of all the assets of SIAM. The Council is responsible for formulating scientific policies of SIAM, monitoring its technical activities, proposing new activities, and recommending action to the Board as appropriate.

The newly elected members of the Board of Trustees and Council will serve January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2025.

Thank you to the entire slate of outstanding candidates for your willingness to serve the SIAM community in this capacity, and to the SIAM members who cast their votes. SIAM relies on the service and dedication of many of its members who serve as elected leaders or as appointed members of various general committees. Please consider suggesting potential members for election or appointment via SIAM’s Leadership Suggestion Form.

* indicates incumbent 

Board of Trustees

Ricardo Cortez

Tulane University

Candidate Statement:
SIAM has been my professional home for more than three decades. Over the years, I have benefited a great deal from the programs it offers, including annual meetings, sectional conferences, excellent journals, Workshop Celebrating Diversity, and the Fellows program. I have also been pleased to work within SIAM committees to find ways to improve SIAM’s programs and continue to make it the welcoming society it is. Like mathematics itself, SIAM is not static. It evolves as it finds new and better ways to support the industrial and applied mathematics community and it adjusts in response to global events. Recent changes in conference format exemplify a new reality that is likely to have long-lasting effects on the way SIAM operates. If elected to the Board of Trustees, I will work to identify opportunities to grow in directions that benefit all members while maintaining the financial health of the society.

Bonita V. Saunders*

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Candidate Statement:
My first term as a member of the SIAM Board of Trustees has been both an enjoyable and challenging experience. As an active decades long member of SIAM, I felt I knew a lot, but as a “newbie” on the Board I found that my knowledge paled in comparison to details I needed to learn about the organization and governance of SIAM. Although in-person meeting restrictions due to the pandemic did not make the learning process any easier, I have still loved the challenge. I have learned a lot and hope to continue work that I have already started.

My active membership in several SIAM Activity Groups (SIAGs) has allowed me to see how decisions made at the top affect activity groups and SIAM members in general. I have sometimes discovered that what we as Board members believe is a fiscally sound choice may appear to be a callous decision at the activity group level. It is important that SIAM leadership keep the lines of communication open so that choices that affect members are clearly explained.

Maintaining our contacts with SIAM staff, activity groups, and sections will aid in this effort. So, too, will supporting modifications to the SIAM website that better highlight important information about SIAM’s history, mission, leadership, and by-laws, and encouraging wider use of SIAM’s Engage communities. These efforts should help create better informed members having the confidence to step up to leadership positions when the opportunity arises.

Ulrike Meier Yang

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Candidate Statement
SIAM is an important society that focuses on the continued development of applied mathematical and computational research needed for solving many real-world problems. It provides many opportunities to exchange research ideas among researchers from the areas of mathematics, computational science, computer science, etc., through conferences and journals. There are a few things I would be interested to further explore, such as increasing diversity and effective virtual components in conferences.

Studies have shown that diversity of all types are positively correlated with scientific impact. The view through different perspectives thinking outside the box leads to new insights and solutions that uniform groups might miss. Increasing diversity within SIAM, whether this is based on genders, races, different countries, various career stages (from students to senior researchers), different institutions (academia, national labs, or industry) is crucial for continued generation of fresh ideas and the advancement of mathematical and computational research.

The pandemic forced us to investigate virtual conferences. While I find virtual conferences to be much less effective than in-person conferences since they cannot replace actual in-person interactions, there are potential advantages to hybrid conferences. A virtual component in a conference or workshop can allow increased participation for researchers that would otherwise be unable to attend and could potentially be a tool to grow SIAM membership, however it requires further exploration to make this truly effective.

I am certain that there are other important issues that the Board of Trustees deals with, such as finances and more. Should I be elected, I would be happy to learn more about these as well.

Council Members-at-Large

Alicia Dickenstein*

University of Buenos Aires 
National Council of Scientific and Technological Research of Argentina

Candidate Statement:
It is a great honor to stand for re-election to the SIAM Council.

I joined SIAM in 2011 on the occasion of the first Conference of the SIAM Activity Group on Applied Algebraic Geometry and have participated in these meetings with different roles ever since. I was one of the four inaugural corresponding editors of SIAM Journal on Applied Algebra and Geometry until the end of 2021. I also joined the SIAM Activity Group on Life Sciences and followed their activities. But just being a member of the SIAM Council since 2021 allowed me to learn about the wide scope of SIAM activities and the many opportunities that SIAM offers supporting the professional development of members at different stages of their careers, in particular students and young members. Some initiatives are naturally aimed at members based in the U.S. and it would be good to find a way to replicate them more internationally as SIAM plays a vital role in the community of computational and applied mathematicians on an international scale. Other challenges include the role of applied mathematics in new areas, the interaction between data-driven algorithms and modeling, funding, underrepresentation, publishing, industry engagement, education and outreach, hybrid participation, etc.

If elected, I will be delighted to serve the SIAM community and contribute to the continued success and evolution of SIAM.

Heike Faßbender*

Technische Universität Braunschweig (TUBS)

Candidate Statement:
As the world’s largest professional association devoted to applied mathematics, SIAM not only plays an obvious role in the research and funding landscape inside the U.S. SIAM also has a major impact internationally through its international sections, student chapters, and cooperations with other applied mathematics organizations.

In particular, as vice president of the German-based GAMM (International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics) I have come to appreciate the cooperation with SIAM on various issues ranging from joint student chapters to cooperating on conferences. I believe that these activities strengthen the applied math community worldwide and should be continued and broadened.

Although face-to-face interactions are irreplaceable and most of us do not want to miss those, the pandemic has shown that hybrid events allow for greater reach and more participants. This opens up the possibility of organizing an event with a sustainable mindset. Attendees who want to reduce their carbon footprint have the option to participate online in a face-to-face event, they can comment, ask questions, share and like, and interact with other attendees. SIAM must find a clever way to link the two worlds together so that both on-site and virtual participants benefit from a meeting.

Due to my involvement in GAMM and ICIAM I would like to strengthen the “I” in SIAM as today it seems to be even more relevant than before to open new channels of communication between researchers and potential users of mathematical tools. With new emerging fields such as digital twins, smart materials, and recent aspects of AI, the need for more direct communication between experts from various industrial domains (including industry users and tool providers) and academia to outline and discuss mathematical challenges appears on the agenda. SIAM should try to foster this and to be more attractive for private corporations.

SIAM has been very successful with its publications program defining the highest scientific standards in the editorial and reviewing processes. This needs to be secured in the future. New elements like online reviewing and/or commenting functionality or running computational experiments reproducing the published results online may be interesting new features.

Johnny Guzmán

Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University

Candidate Statement:
SIAM has had a very positive impact in my professional career. Access to high level journals, attending stimulating conferences, and participating in diversity and inclusion activities are examples of opportunities I have taken advantage of. These opportunities are, in part, due to the generous efforts of the SIAM leadership. If elected to Council, I will be dedicated to continuing these efforts and helping move the organization forward.

Valeria Simoncini*

Universita’ di Bologna

Candidate Statement:
This is an uninterrupted time of new research challenges involving computer science, biology, statistics and engineering expertise, joining efforts together with the mathematical community. In this exciting and fast changing setting, I believe SIAM should continue to testify and strengthen the role of applied mathematics in innovative application areas such as data science -- where new mathematics is being created at incredible speed -- through publications, conferences, and social media with researchers in well-established disciplines.

SIAM should also continue to be inclusive and create research and network opportunities for all mathematicians, encouraging and supporting participation.
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