SIAM News Blog

Meet SIAM’s Newest Leadership: Board and Council

Following SIAM’s recent elections, we are pleased to announce our new Board and Council Members. Thank you to the entire slate of outstanding candidates for your willingness to serve the SIAM community in this capacity, and the SIAM members who cast your vote in the election. Learn more about these leaders.

Board of Trustees

Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University

Candidate Statement: Serving on the SIAM board would be another great way to give back to an organization that has meant so much to my colleagues, and our students. If elected to the board, I'd like to focus on both education (undergrad - postdocs) as well as diversity. Big Math, our local name for all that we do, has become critical throughout science and engineering, and big math literacy is essential to growing numbers of scientists and engineers. SIAM and its members can play a strong role in educating current and future decision makers (in industry, academia, NGOs and government). The recent foundation of the Applied Mathematics Education activity group is a great step. 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 URM. We may be doing a bit better now, but not by much. My focus would be on not only attracting more talent to Big Math, but definitely also on retention at all career stages.

Tim Kelley, North Carolina State University*

Candidate Statement: The SIAM board of trustees is charged with stewardship of SIAM’s financial health, which, as of today, is excellent.

SIAM exists to enable the professional development of its members. We do this via our publications, conferences, and the SIAGS. SIAM works to promote and nurture the profession itself, a job we do with our lobbying efforts, the awards we give, our programs in education, and our membership recruitment.

Most of SIAM’s income comes from library journal subscriptions. Electronic publishing and the open access movement will change the society’s revenue model significantly, probably within this decade. Since I joined the board in 2012, the pressure for open access of journal articles has increased, and many governments now require that publishers find ways to provide open access to articles. The funding agencies US and UK have such regulations in place. Changes such as these present a major challenge for the board and for SIAM as a whole. The board of trustees has responsibility for meeting this challenge and deciding how SIAM will operate in the future.

SIAM has opportunities to grow and better serve the community by expanding the coverage of the journals and meetings, creating new journals and SIAGs, and aggressively seeking new members. We can only pursue these opportunities if our fiscal position is strong.

Randall LeVeque, University of Washington*

Candidate Statement: SIAM continues to be a vibrant and healthy organization that serves its members well, in addition to publishing a broad range of journals and organizing conferences that are important far beyond the membership. But there are always challenges to maintaining and improving the ways in which SIAM serves the community. In particular, the financial success of SIAM journals is critical to maintaining high editorial standards and to help support many of SIAM's other activities, and we should be proud that SIAM produces very high-quality journals at reasonable prices. But the scholarly publishing environment is changing rapidly regarding open access and pricing models, data and code sharing requirements, and new interactive technologies that may change the nature of scientific communication. I have had the honor of contributing to on-going discussions of these topics through my recent service on the Journals Committee and the Board, and I would welcome the opportunity to serve another term.


Liliana Borcea, University of Michigan*

Candidate Statement: In our world of rapidly developing technological discoveries a modern and interdisciplinary approach to science is crucial for dealing with the ever growing scope and complexity of problems. Most areas of science, engineering and medicine are becoming dependent on mathematical and computational methodologies and they require a versatile generation of scientists that can move easily between disciplines. SIAM has played a key role in applied mathematics through its journals, activity groups and conferences. It has important activities such as the student chapters, dissertation and best paper prizes that encourage students to be engaged in research and to pursue careers in applied mathematics. I would like to see SIAM play an even stronger role in attracting students to our field through activities such as summer schools, in guiding the integration of applied and computational courses in mathematics departments, and in evolving applied mathematics curricula to include important areas such as stochastic analysis and statistical computational methodologies. 

Per Christian Hansen, Technical University of Denmark

Candidate Statement: Mathematics keeps evolving and expanding due to the fact that we keep facing new societal and scientific challenges, and progress in measurement technology and computing hardware enables us to model and analyze increasingly more complicated and realistic systems. SIAM provides a global network that helps the growth of mathematics and stimulates the interaction of researchers across diverse fields of mathematics and applications, with a focus that ranges from graduate students to professionals. As a SIAM Council member I would be honored to help this organization and community that has always inspired me and been part of my career.

Helen Moore, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Candidate Statement: With half of my career spent in industry, I have a strong interest in academic/industry interactions. In industry, it can be challenging to find job candidates with the mathematical and other quantitative backgrounds we are looking for. Yet I frequently encounter mathematics graduate students who are interested in industry, and have been trying to find out how to prepare for such jobs. In addition to helping individual students who reach out, we can support and increase efforts as a society to communicate information about opportunities outside of academia. SIAM is uniquely positioned to play this role, due to strong participation by academic, industry, and government partners. By offering formal programs, we are inclusive of everyone interested, and we help support diverse groups in their career goals. Such offerings can range from conference sessions addressing coursework expectations, to articles featuring applications of mathematics outside of academia.

Helping student members and fostering academic connections with industry and labs also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the value of SIAM to these partners. Examples of innovative, relevant mathematical applications can encourage senior management support of conference participation and publication by their own employees. Conversely, this aids in the recruitment of future talent with strong backgrounds to non-academic workplaces.

Overall, this is an exciting time for SIAM! Successful SIAM programs, including our conferences and journals, are being transformed by technology. Conferences post slides and videos of key talks. Journals publish articles online, often with open access. Online content viewers create dialogues in comment sections. It will take creativity and forward thinking to find the opportunities in these changes, and to maintain our leadership in the field.

Felix Otto, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences*

Candidate Statement: In my opinion, SIAM should continue to play a role for applied mathematicians also outside of the US - to their benefit, but also to the benefit of a global perspective for those working in the US. Especially in this respect SIAM's well-run and well-attended conferences are crucial; it is important to keep their high scientific level while being open to new communities. For me, the definition of “applied mathematics” is a broad one; it is important to be stimulated by new experimental insight, for instance, as well as to explore new theoretical concepts and so keep in touch with the rest of mathematics.

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Learn more about the SIAM General Election.

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