SIAM News Blog

SIAM Texas-Louisiana Section Successfully Hosts 5th Annual Meeting

By Yifei Lou

The SIAM Texas-Louisiana (TX-LA) Section held its 5th Annual Meeting (TXLA22) in Houston, Texas, from November 4-6, 2022. The Department of Mathematics at the University of Houston (UH) hosted the conference, which attracted 348 attendees; this record-breaking turnout demonstrates the tremendous growth of the SIAM TX-LA Section. SIAM provided travel support for the plenary speakers, 29 travel awards for undergraduate and graduate students, and cash prizes for two outstanding posters.

The three-day conference agenda included a career panel, a hands-on tutorial on data-driven full waveform inversion, four plenary lectures, two poster sessions, and more than 60 minisymposia blocks (each with up to four talks). Presenters reported on cutting-edge methodologies and computational algorithms—such as model order reduction, algebraic geometry, and scientific machine learning—for a wide spectrum of applications that ranged from the geosciences and biomedicine to hydrodynamics, optics, and fluids.

The first special event was a career panel that featured Detlef Hohl (Shell), Youzuo Lin (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Rami Nammour (TotalEnergies), Annalisa Quaini (University of Houston), and Carol Woodward (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). The panel drew over 50 attendees and stimulated a series of interesting questions and answers between the panelists and the audience.

Two of the career panelists also delivered plenary lectures; Hohl spoke about deep learning approaches for content-based image retrieval of industrial materials, and Woodward provided an overview of time integration methods and software for scientific simulations. The other two plenary lecturers were Karen Willcox (University of Texas at Austin) and Minh-Binh Tran (Texas A&M University). Willcox’s talk pertained to digital twins with applications in aircraft and cancer treatment, while Tran reported on recent advances in wave turbulence theory. All of the plenary lectures were well attended.

TXLA22 boasted two poster sessions to accommodate nearly 80 submissions. The contributed posters covered a wide variety of topics, including convolutional neural networks, nematic liquid crystals, eviction, and even Sudoku puzzles. Mohammad Shah Alam (University of Houston) presented the winning poster in the graduate category, while Gavin McIntosh (Tarleton State University) won the undergraduate award. Both students received cash prizes for their excellent posters.

For the first time at a TX-LA annual meeting, the SIAM TX-LA Section organized a mentoring lunch to complement the career panel. While the panel offered useful career advice on a more general scale, the one-on-one meetings between senior researchers and students explored more personal and individualistic topics. The 34 registered graduate students and postdoctoral researchers (the protégés) were matched with 39 participating mentors based on factors like research area, career stage, and general interests. A post-event survey found that roughly 90 percent of participants would recommend this program to colleagues and friends, while more than 93 percent would participate again in the future.

The TXLA22 Organizing Committee comprised a local UH group, the SIAM TX-LA Section officers, and the section’s district liaisons. The UH Organizing Committee was chaired by William Ott and included Loïc Cappanera, Gabriela Jaramillo, Alexander Mamonov, Andreas Mang, Maxim Olshanskii, and Annalisa Quaini. Attendees praised the conference’s vibrant scientific programming and strong student presence in the poster sessions, career panel audience, and mentorship lunch. Its success has inspired the section officers and liaisons to begin planning the 6th Annual Meeting, which will take place at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette sometime this year!

Yifei Lou is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. She currently serves as secretary of the SIAM Texas-Louisiana Section. 
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