SIAM News Blog

SIAM Pacific Northwest Section Online Seminar Series

The SIAM Pacific Northwest (SIAM PNW) Section organized an online seminar titled "From Casual Inference to Gene Regulation" as part of their Seminar Series, which took place Thursday, January 31. The SIAM PNW Section has one of the largest geographic spreads, serving the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. and Canada, including the states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and the province of British Columbia. The largest distance between the academic members of the section is as large as 900 miles south to north, and around 700 miles east to west! For this reason, the section organizes an online seminar to bring the section members together - virtually.

Initiated by 2016-17 SIAM PNW President Bernard Deconinck, and following a successful model of an Applied Analysis seminar from the University of Washington, the section continues to use an online hosting platform for quarterly seminars. Led by Professor Caroline Uhler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the talks were on subjects ranging from rigorous numerical and partial differential equation analysis through modeling of consolidation, variational image processing, tsunamis, mathematical biology and genomics, to inverse problems in geophysics applications, and geometric combinatorics and big data.

"The SIAM PNW talks provide a fantastic opportunity to hear about applied and interdisciplinary mathematics projects that others in the region are doing and/or are interested in,” said Malgo Peszynska, SIAM PNW Section President. “We originally started with speakers local to our area, but later expanded outside our geographical boundaries. The talks help to bring us all together as we watch others participate online in the same event. Even if we are hundreds of miles apart, it feels like the other participants are just next door, thus the event is great for community building. It also helps to bring exposure to new math to the smaller institutions or more isolated participants. The event helps us to learn new hot topics without incurring travel expenses or getting into complicated travel logistics. While not a substitute for in-person events, the SIAM PNW talks provide an excellent new dimension to our research and outreach activities.”

The seminar was virtually attended by graduate students and faculty from academic institutions, and professionals from laboratories and industry. Some of the Seminar Series events were so well attended that local attendees are encouraged to gather in a local seminar room to participate in the next seminar rather than individually connecting online. This will help keep the bandwidth open for individual participants, e.g. members from outside academia. The seminar presentations were recorded and can be viewed here.

“I like the new SIAM PWN online seminar format,” explained seminar participant and lecturer Ralph Showalter, Oregon State University. “I can concentrate on the content of the lecture in the privacy of my office without the distraction and cost of travel. Plus, even the most prominent speakers are willing to give online talks thus we have more opportunities to experience more.”

SIAM PNW Section also featured their 1st Biennial Meeting in Fall 2017 and are getting ready for the 2nd Biennial Meeting of SIAM Pacific Northwest Section in Fall 2019.

Learn more about the Seminar Series and watch the From Casual Inference to Gene Regulation seminar here.

Learn more about SIAM Sections and how you can get involved, or start one in your area!

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