SIAM News Blog

SIAM Celebrates Women’s History Month

Last edited: 3/29/23

March is Women's History Month! SIAM recognizes and honors women in the applied mathematics and computational science field for their contributions and achievements. This month, we will feature women applied mathematics in our community. Read the spotlights of Dr. Sarah Knepper, Dr. Helen MooreDr. Malgorzata Peszynska, and Dr. Aretha Teckentrup below. We also hope you will read through the resources and networks for women in applied mathematics and learn more about our commitment equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Sarah Knepper

Dr. Sarah Knepper received her Ph.D. degree in computer science from Emory University. She is a manager on the Intel oneAPI Math Kernel Library (oneMKL) team, having previously been a software engineer developing and optimizing dense linear algebra functionality for oneMKL. Dr. Knepper’s research interests include numerical linear algebra, high-performance computing, and diversity and inclusion. Her team and others at Intel have been focused on heterogeneous computing and creating a unified, standards-based programming model for accelerator architectures to improve performance and developer productivity.

Dr. Knepper has been a SIAM member since she was a graduate student in 2007, in which her courses utilized SIAM textbooks. To this day, she continues to maintain a collection of SIAM books that she finds have focused topics and real-world applicability. She currently serves on the SIAM Industry Committee, the 2023 SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering Organizing Committee, and is a part of the SIAM Visiting Lecturer Program. Through her participation, Dr. Knepper has met people outside of Intel, grown her leadership skills, and has given back to the SIAM community. Furthermore, she believes SIAM conferences have helped her career through the low barrier for early career professionals to enter. Because the conferences bring industry, government lab, and academia professionals together to share their latest research and cutting-edge results, these experiences have allowed her to expand her professional network.

To early career professionals, Dr. Knepper advises them to be proactive in their professional development and get involved in SIAM activities and programs. She also suggests being confident in gaining knowledge and pursuing new career opportunities. “If you see an opportunity that looks interesting, even if you don't meet the requirements fully, still consider applying,” she said. “Maybe you'll get it and be able fill some knowledge gaps you have that will help you in the future.” 

Helen Moore

Dr. Helen Moore is a mathematician who worked in academia for the first 11 years after receiving her Ph.D. in mathematics from Stony Brook University in 1995. Following that, Dr. Moore spent 15 years in the biopharma industry, including Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and AstraZeneca. She returned to academia in 2021, joining the Laboratory for Systems Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. She has won two teaching awards, received a National Science Foundation research grant, and is a 2018 SIAM Fellow. Dr. Moore was elected for two terms on the SIAM Council, and for one term on the Board of Trustees of the International Society of Pharmacometrics. Her research includes mechanistic systems modeling of diseases, validation of mechanistic models, and optimization of drug regimens.

Listen to the video below to learn more about her research, involvement in SIAM, and advice to early career professionals. Hear more from Dr. Moore about jobs in business, industry, and government (BIG) in this multi-part “Talking BIG Jobs” interview

Malgorzata Peszynska

Dr. Malgorzata Peszynska is a full professor in the department of mathematics at Oregon State University and is a Joel Davis Faculty Scholar, AAAS Honorary Fellow, and the 2021 SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences Career Prize recipient. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Augsburg, and her M.Sc. and habilitation in mathematics from Warsaw University of Technology. Before Dr. Peszynska worked at Oregon State, she held positions at University of Texas at Austin, Purdue University, Polish Academy of Sciences, and Warsaw University of Technology

Dr. Peszynska’s work involves mathematical modeling and analysis of PDEs, numerical and functional analysis, probability, and simulation of coupled flow, transport, energy, and deformation from pore- to Darcy to landscape scale. Her projects with students and collaborators range from rigorous analysis through algorithm development to applied simulations inspired by interdisciplinary applications and data science. Dr. Peszynska’s research interests are in applied mathematics and computational modeling of real-life phenomena.

SIAM has been her professional "home" since her early career years. Dr. Peszynska has been a SIAM member for more than 20 years and started by participating in the SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences, and organizing sessions at SIAM Annual Meeting and for other activity groups. She describes going to SIAM Conferences today as an opportunity to see many old friends, meet new friends, and to see all the opportunities that her students and junior faculty have ahead of them thanks to being part of the SIAM community.

Dr. Peszynska served as Program Director (2009-2010) and Chair (2011-2012) for the SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences. She also served on the Committee on Programs and Conferences from 2017-2022, the SIAM Coordinating Committee for the Joint Mathematics Meetings from 2018-2021, Ad Hoc Committee on the Joint Mathematics Meetings from 2019-2020, the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture Selection Committee 2019-2022 (Chair 2020), and the SIAM Conference on Mathematical & Computational Issues in the Geosciences Organizing Committee in 2021 and 2023. Dr. Peszynska says throughout these roles she, “experienced the many joys and the anguish of agreeing and disagreeing and finding ways to contribute to the success of the evolving research in the field.” In 2013-2022, she was an associate editor for SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis, which was another important formative experience. Since 2016, she had the honor to be involved in the first steps of the SIAM Pacific Northwest Section and served as the President from 2018-2020 and Vice-President from 2016-2018. These followed many very enjoyable years of co-organizing local events with her colleagues and students from the region. Learn more about her work, awards, and more.

Her advice to early career professionals is to, “say yes to projects and assignments that stretch your breadth and leadership. When new highly technical or new interdisciplinary directions appear interesting but seem to require more time than you have, go for it!” She also recommends making investments in yourself, but also in others by paying it forward. When there is an opportunity to be involved, just do it. “Choose the complex and challenging over the easy and simple.”


Aretha Teckentrup

Dr. Aretha Teckentrup is a Reader in Mathematics of Data Science at the School of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Bath in 2013 and moved to Edinburgh in 2016 after two postdoctoral positions at Florida State University and the University of Warwick. For the next two years, she was a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in London. Currently Dr. Teckentrup is co-organizing a six-month research program, The Mathematical and Statistical Foundations of Future Data-Driven Engineering, at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge.

Listen to the video below to learn more about her research, involvement in SIAM, and advice to early career professionals.


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SIAM’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion  

As a professional society, SIAM is committed to empowering equitable, diverse, and inclusive participation in all aspects of our community. SIAM will provide a climate that encourages the open expression and exchange of ideas, that is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and that is welcoming and comfortable to all members and to those who participate in its activities. 

In pursuit of this commitment, SIAM is dedicated to the philosophy of equality of opportunity and treatment for all participants regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, disabilities, veteran status, and field of expertise. 


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