SIAM News Blog

Meet SIAM’s Newest Leadership

Following SIAM’s recent elections, we are pleased to announce our new President-Elect, Vice President-at-Large, Secretary, Board of Trustees members, and Council. Thank you to the entire slate of outstanding candidates for your willingness to serve the SIAM community in this capacity.


Susanne C. Brenner, Louisiana State University 

Susanne Brenner

Candidate Statement: It is a great honor to be nominated for the position of President-Elect of SIAM. I have been a SIAM member since I was a graduate student and have experienced over the years the many benefits that a SIAM membership brings. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to serve the SIAM community and to contribute to the continuing success of SIAM.

SIAM serves the research community through its excellent journals, conferences and activity groups.  As such, it is important to identify new areas of research through the collective efforts of the SIAM members and to be nimble and thoughtful in the creation of new journals, conferences and activity groups. At the same time, SIAM should also continue to foster the growth of all the existing areas of excellence within the SIAM community.

In the U.S., SIAM is the premier organization that brings applied mathematicians in industry/labs and academia together. The opportunities for interdisciplinary research collaborations and career development resulting from the interactions of the two communities are valuable benefits unique to the SIAM membership. SIAM should endeavor to further strengthen the ties between these communities.

SIAM student chapters are great venues for the promotion of applied mathematics and career opportunities outside academia, and the number of chapters has increased steadily over the years.  Nevertheless, all too many undergraduate mathematics majors in the U.S. remain unaware of the fascinating subjects and opportunities in applied mathematics and computational science.  Successful outreach to these students will help to enlarge the pipeline. 

The collaboration between mathematics and science and technology is an international undertaking.  SIAM should embrace the global opportunities and continue to support meetings outside the U.S. and to promote international student chapters, especially in developing countries.

SIAM publishes some of the best journals in applied and computational mathematics, and the revenue generated by SIAM journals is a major source of income. This important enterprise will be impacted by the open access mandates. It is therefore paramount that SIAM plays a role in charting the path forward for society publishers so that the high quality of SIAM journals is maintained and the finances of SIAM remain healthy. 

Last but not least, the active participation of all stakeholders is vital to the success of SIAM. This can only be ensured by a proactive policy of inclusiveness. It is crucial that SIAM continues to promote diversity in all its forms in all SIAM activities.

If elected, I will solicit input from the membership and work with the outstanding officers and staff of SIAM to meet challenges and opportunities, and to strive for best practices in all the endeavors towards the SIAM mission of building cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology.

Vice President-at-Large

Carol S. Woodward, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)*

Carol S. Woodward

Candidate Statement: SIAM has been and continues to be a strong professional resource for applied mathematicians and computational scientists in industry, government labs, and academia. SIAM’s conferences are frequently a place for connecting related work in differing applications and industries. SIAM journals are at the top of their respective areas and are typically the first place many go to for high-quality papers. SIAM Activity Groups aid in connecting members with like research interests and foster healthy research communities. In addition, SIAM Prizes and Awards recognize achievements in applied mathematics and bring prestige to applied and industrial mathematics worldwide. In the coming years, however, our field will face new challenges with SIAM as the main society that serves them. I expect we will see continued growth in applied mathematics and computational science throughout the world. We are seeing significant changes in high-end computer architectures focusing demand for new algorithms and synergy between mathematicians and computer scientists. In addition, decreasing journal subscriptions and open access requirements are challenging the journal revenue generation that SIAM relies on for much of its budget. Through the office of Vice-President-At-Large, I hope to continue to help SIAM meet these challenges by supporting our Activity Groups in developing and maintaining their research communities and through stimulated recognition of our fields through the various SIAM Prize and Fellows Programs. This work will include helping SIAM continue to: strengthen its engagement with industrial applied mathematicians; expand its conferences and networking opportunities throughout our international community; and increase recognition for applied and industrial mathematics.


Susan E. Minkoff, University of Texas at Dallas 

Susan Minkoff

Candidate Statement: The primary responsibility of the SIAM Secretary is to chair the Committee on Committees and Appointments which has oversight of the SIAM committees that are not elected. I have had extensive experience on two of these committees (Diversity and Membership) and have interacted with others on the Industry Committee. I served on the Workshops Celebrating Diversity Subcommittee, chairing this committee for one year. However, my primary experience is with the Membership Committee which I chaired for four and a half years. I took this committee responsibility very seriously, brainstorming by phone every month with the SIAM Membership Manager and meeting several times a year with the committee members. During this period the Membership Committee implemented several new initiatives including a reciprocity agreement with the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), and we placed a strong emphasis on students and industrial members. These initiatives paid off with an increase in membership at that time (highlighted by Doug Arnold in his Past President's address).

The increase in new members was in part due to an increase in student members, and it became clear to me that what students really wanted was more career information. Thus the Career Column for SIAM News was born in 2010. I edited and solicited articles for this column for 6 years resulting in 24 columns in total.

It is easy for committees to be fairly passive. My goal is to ensure the committees I chair are as active as possible and have an impact. I try to hear from everyone on the committee and to get the members to work towards implementing ideas about which they are passionate. One of SIAM's biggest challenges is to attract a larger chunk of industrial members. What we found was that often companies (even large companies) have only one or two SIAM members, and this small SIAM presence is often due to the fact that many people are only members of one professional organization (say an engineering or applied science society). However, working towards increasing the number of SIAM industry members is still an important goal.

While SIAM has typically been more egalitarian than some professional engineering societies (fewer levels of membership for senior vs junior members, for example) there is always room for improvement in terms of attracting a more diverse membership. Finally, with fields like machine learning and data science gaining such widespread popularity, SIAM should continue to address what real role applied mathematicians can play. How can more rigor be brought to bear in these burgeoning fields? Addressing such questions may also attract more members from industry.

Board of Trustees

Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University 

Margot Gerritsen

Candidate Statement: Serving on the SIAM Board has been wonderful the last two years and a great way to give back to an organization that has meant much to me, my colleagues, and our students. I’d love to stay on the board for another term. My main foci are education (undergrad through postdocs) as well as diversity. I’ve become very interested in ethics, fairness, transparency, and accountability related to computational math and data science in particular. SIAM and its members can play a strong role in educating current and future decision makers (in industry, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and government). As to diversity, or inclusiveness, this is unfortunately still an area in which we can do much better, at SIAM, but also in our wider professional and academic circles. When I started my degree program in applied mathematics, I thought that by the time I'd be old (which according to my 18-year-old self I now definitely am!), we would have reached near gender parity, and would have seen much larger numbers of underrepresented minorities (URM). I co-founded the Global Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference, datathon, and podcast to educate, inspire and support women in data science. WiDS has strong synergy with SIAM. Apart from women, diversity certainly also means increasing the number of URM in SIAM and the field as a whole. I’m keen to contribute what I can to that mission.

Randall J. LeVeque, University of Washington*

Randy LeVeque

Candidate Statement: SIAM plays a critical role in fostering applied mathematics worldwide, through conferences and journals and more generally by supporting the community in both research and education. It is a vibrant organization that continues to expand into new fields and geographic regions, and increase its outreach efforts to students and underserved communities. While SIAM's financial situation is strong, there are numerous challenges in balancing these efforts with financial stability and with the desire to keep costs low for membership and journals. I have been honored to serve as a member of the SIAM Board to help tackle these challenges and would welcome the opportunity to serve a third term. I am particularly interested in the future of scholarly publication and the impact of the rapidly changing landscape on SIAM journals and books. One of my current interests is in the publication of more interactive journal articles or books, which I believe is a trend in both research and education that SIAM should be helping to lead. As one effort in this direction, I am co-authoring a book to be published soon by SIAM based entirely on Jupyter notebooks, and am working with SIAM staff to facilitate this process for other authors.

Bonita V. Saunders, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 

Bonita V. Saunders

Candidate Statement: Although my education and professional experiences have produced an affinity for both pure and applied mathematics as well as the teaching of mathematics, it was SIAM that fanned the passion that has led to a decades long career in computational and applied mathematics.  In graduate school I couldn’t wait to read the latest issue of SIAM News to discover new job opportunities in my chosen field. Over the years SIAM has continued to inspire budding and established career scientists through its publications of technical news and peer-reviewed journals and its support of conferences, symposiums, and workshops promoting the latest methodologies in applied and computational science. 

As a member of the Board of Trustees, I will help SIAM expand and continue its legacy by supporting wise decision-making in the control and use of SIAM funds and investments. However, in order to make informed decisions it is important to understand the funding pathways down to SIAM Activity Groups, conferences or other entities being supported, not only to ensure a clear and equitable distribution of funds, but also to better understand the factors affecting the need for funds. My professional experiences and my support and work with several SIAGs puts me in an excellent position to consider these issues.  I look forward to having the opportunity to support SIAM in this position. 


Heike Faßbender, Technische Universität Braunschweig (TUBS) 

Heike Faßbender

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., it also has a major impact internationally through its international sections, student chapters, and co-operations with other applied mathematics organizations.

In particular as president of the Germany-based International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM), I have learned to value 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. Besides this, activities in underdeveloped countries which often do not have an applied math society should be supported, e.g., by national sections and joint workshops.

Due to my involvement in GAMM and ICIAM I would like to strengthen the I in SIAM since it seems even more relevant today than ever 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 or recent aspects of artificial intelligence, 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 is strong. SIAM should try to foster this and 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 and reproducing the published results online may be interesting new features. Moreover, answers are needed for problems that may stem from the European Plan S or the German DEAL Project.

Helen Moore, Applied BioMath*

Helen Moore

Candidate Statement:  I spent 11 years in academia before spending the past 13 in industry. I am committed to helping foster connections between academia and industry. This not only benefits Ph.D. students interested in working in industry, it also helps companies recruit talented researchers and increases awareness of academic research areas that can be useful for solving industry problems. Faculty can benefit by learning about problems of genuine interest to industry, finding new collaborations, and learning how to better inform students who wish to go into industry. The majority of attendees at conferences such as the SIAM Conference on the Life Sciences are in academia. Conferences hosted by the International Society of Pharmacometrics (ISoP), which focuses on the quantitative methods used in drug development, have a majority of industry participants. With more mathematicians moving into math modeling groups in the biopharma industry, some of us attend both SIAM and ISoP conferences. Lack of awareness of work done in a different research community remains a challenge that we need to address with increased communication. As we continue to build case studies of impactful mathematical modeling applications, demand for mathematicians in industry increases. Sharing open problems, new ideas, and diverse perspectives and expertise will be important for advances in both industry and academia. 

Additional challenges for SIAM continue to arise, and we need to proactively address these. These include decisions that need to be made about ethics issues, open access journal policies, declining journal subscriptions, and emerging platforms for communicating research results. We need to develop ways to offset declines in revenue in order for SIAM activities to be sustainable. Some areas that have been supported recently include new journals and conferences that are being initiated, and established ones that are evolving as new volunteers put their time, energy, and ideas into them. If we focus our attention on these issues now, the longer-term ability of SIAM to serve its members and the broader community will be preserved.

Valeria Simoncini, Universita' di Bologna 

Valeria Simoncini

Candidate Statement: This is a truly fascinating moment for our community, full of new challenges involving computer science, statistics, and engineering competencies, in which SIAM wants to testify and strengthen the role of applied mathematics. Therefore, I believe SIAM should continue to foster the visibility of the applied mathematics community through publications, conferences, and social media with researchers in well-established disciplines, and also strongly pursue the recent activities in innovative application areas such as data science, where new mathematics is being created at incredible speed.

Suzanne L. Weekes, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 

Suzanne Weekes

Candidate Statement: I would like to continue the focus as stated by past SIAM president, Irene Fonseca, on the “I” in SIAM. SIAM should be one of the first places that business, government, and industry look to when they want to recruit students to join their workforce, when they want to engage in collaborations with universities, and when they want to access cutting edge research in applied mathematics and computational sciences. SIAM should be one of the first places that academics look to make the connection to industry.

SIAM should continue to be forward looking by keeping its pulse on the changing modes and paradigms of 21st century information sharing. SIAM publications, journals, videos, etc. should continue to reflect the best of modern science and technology communication.

SIAM should continue to work on communicating with the public and policy makers about what applied mathematics and computational science are about and the impact and importance of these fields in our society.

I would like to see the SIAM community strengthen its efforts towards broadening SIAM’s membership and we must work effectively towards a more inclusive, welcoming, and diverse professional society. 

*Indicates incumbent

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