SIAM News Blog

Mathematics/MPE 2013 Symposia Slated for AAAS Meeting in Boston

By Edward Aboufadel

The American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold its 2013 Annual Meeting in Boston, February 14-18. The theme of the meeting is “The Beauty and Benefits of Science.” 

The AAAS is divided into 24 discipline-based sections, including Section A (Mathematics), which has organized four symposia for next year’s meeting, two of which are sponsored by Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013:

  • Mathematics of Tipping Points: Framework, Applications, and Prediction, organized by Mary Lou Zeeman (Bowdoin College); this is an MPE 2013 symposium. Scheduled speakers are Mary Silber, Sebastian Wieczorek, and Marten Scheffer.
  • Understanding and Communicating Uncertainty in Climate Change Science, organized by Richard L. Smith (University of North Carolina); this is an MPE 2013 symposium. Scheduled speakers are Murali Haran, Leonard Smith, and Mark Berliner.
  • Compressive Sensing: Sensing Sparse Phenomena in Theory and Practice, organized by Mark Davenport (Stanford University). Scheduled speakers are Mark Davenport, Justin Romberg, Dave Brady, Anna Gilbert, and Rachel Ward.
  • Multi-scale Study of Cancer, organized by Mark Alber (University of Notre Dame) and Jill Mesirov (Broad Institute of Harvard  University and MIT). Scheduled speakers are Martin Nowak, Kathleen Wilkie, and Philip Maini.

Other symposia among the more than 150 planned for Boston that will be of interest to the mathematical community include: Is Beauty Truth? Mathematics in Physics from Dirac to the Higgs Boson and Beyond; Predictability: From Physical to Data Sciences; The Science of Uncertainty in Genomic Medicine; Predictive Model of the Internal Combustion Engine; Computation, Computational Efficiency, and Cognitive Science; How Fundamental Computing Research Touches Everyday Lives; Smart Phones, Smart Devices, Social Networks, and Smart Health Care; Visualizing Chemistry: Seeing Another Dimension of Plants and Animals; and The 25th Anniversary of the First Collection in the History of Women in Science.

Further information, including the schedule of talks, can be found here. Section A acknowledges the American Mathematical Society for  generous contributions for travel support for speakers to this meeting.

The AAAS hopes to offer symposia on topics in pure and applied mathematics at future meetings and values contributions by mathematicians and mathematics educators. Mathematical scientists are invited to volunteer as organizers and speakers for the 2014 meeting, which will be held in Chicago, February 13–17. The Steering Committee for Section A also invites members of the mathematical sciences community to attend the Section A business meeting in Boston on Friday, February 15, 2013, at 7:00 PM. On the business meeting agenda is brainstorming about future symposia, although the committee encourages the submission of topics for future symposia at any time.

Members of the Steering Committee for Section A (with terms from February 2012 to February 2013) are: Jill Mesirov, chair; Juan Meza (University of California, Merced), chair-elect; John H. Ewing (Math for America), retiring chair; Edward Aboufadel (Grand Valley State University), secretary; and members at large Tony Chan (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Mary Ellen Bock (Purdue University), Joceline Lega (University of Arizona), and Sheldon Katz (University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign).

Edward Aboufadel ( is a professor of mathematics and the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Grand Valley State University. 

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