SIAM News Blog

SIAM Washington-Baltimore Section Annual Meeting

Meeting Location and Time

Wednesday September 25, 2019 at 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Ballston Room, 2nd level Virginia Tech Executive Briefing Center
900 N Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia 22203 
Directions and more information on the venue can be found here

For planning purposes PLEASE share your intent of attending the Research Funding Panel and the business meeting by filling out this short survey. We will update the attendee list below as we get such information.


1:00-2:00 p.m.: DoD Program Managers Presentations

(Each Program manager will prepare a 20-minute presentation on funding priorities for their program. There will be time devoted to question and comments after the presentations.)

Dr. Fariba Fahroo
Computational Mathematics
Air Force Office of Scientific Research 

Dr. Reza Malek-Madani
Office of Naval Research

2:00 – 2:50 p.m.: Swarm Dynamics: from Nature to Theory to Robotics
Dr. Ira Schwartz, US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington D.C.

Abstract: Swarming behavior continues to be a subject of immense interest because of its centrality in many naturally occurring systems in physics and biology, as well as its importance in engineering applications such as robotics. Here we examine the effects on coherent swarm pattern formation from aspects of communication, such as latency effects, link topology and environmental uncertainty. With the availability of ever more cheap and powerful computing, interest in the use of mixed-reality and swarm experiments has grown considerably in the physical sciences. Broadly speaking, these experiments consist of a simulated, or virtual model coupled directly to a physical experiment. Within the physical experiment, it is typical to find a good deal of uncertainty and noise since it is connected to the real world, and thus subjected to random perturbations. In contrast, the virtual part of the coupled system represents a somewhat idealized version of reality in which noise can be eliminated entirely. Thus, mixed reality systems have very skewed sources of uncertainty spread through the entire system. In this talk, we consider the pattern formation of delay - coupled swarms theoretically and experimentally to illustrate the idea of mixed-reality. Motivated by physical experiments, we then consider a model of a mixed-reality system, and show how noise in the physical part of the system can influence the virtual dynamics through a large fluctuation, even when there is no noise in the virtual components. We quantify the effects of uncertainty by showing how characteristic times of noise induced switching between swarm patterns scale as a function of the coupling between the real and virtual parts of the experiment. This work is done in collaboration with Klimka Szwaykowska, Thomas Carr, Victoria Edwards and Jason Hindes.

2:50-3:30 p.m.: Posters and Refreshment
Please contact [email protected] if you want to have a poster. We have limited space (up to 20 posters) for the posters.

3:30-4:20 p.m.: Optimal Sensor Location: Theory, Computation and Applications
Dr. John Burns, Department of Mathematics and Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Mathematics, Virginia Tech

Abstract: In this presentation we formulate sensor placement problems as optimization problems with partial differential equations as constraints.  The problems are motivated by applications to biochemical defense and to energy efficient buildings.  Finally, we discuss numerical issues and suggest approaches to address accuracy and real time implementation.  The key idea is to combine high performance computing with high order finite element schemes.”

4:20 - 5:00 p.m.: Business Meeting 

  • Election of Officers for the Baltimore Washington SIAM Section:
    • The following have been nominated; we will accept additional nominations from the floor.
      • President: Andrey Rukhin, Metron Inc.
      • Vice President: George Stantchev, Naval Research Laboratory
      • David Seal: Secretary/Treasurer, Department of Mathematics, U.S. Naval Academy 
  • Discussion of Baltimore Washington Section and Student Chapters, in section. Joint meetings/workshops/conferences for 2020.


Terry L. Herdman 
Associate Vice President for Research Computing
Director Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Mathematics
Virginia Tech

Reza Malek-Madani
Director of Research and Scholarship
U.S. Naval Academy

David Seal 
Department of Mathematics 
U.S. Naval Academy 

George Stantchev
Naval Research Laboratory

Andrey Rukhin
Metron Inc.

Additional Information

The organizers will not plan a group dinner for attendees. The organizers encourage attendees to organize smaller Dutch Treat dinner groups. If you are interested in organizing a dinner group, please identify the restaurant and the information (including your contact info) will be placed below. 

Parking Information

A parking garage is located beneath the Virginia Tech Research Center (900 N. Glebe Road). The garage entrance is off Ninth Street at the corner of Glebe Road. The garage is managed by Laz Parking (703-243-7281).Additional public parking garages include: 950 N. Glebe Rd, 800 N. Glebe Rd, and 901 N. Glebe Rd.

The Virginia Tech Executive Briefing Center is about a five minute walk from the Ballston-MU Metro Station. 

Speaker Information

Speaker: Dr. Ira B. Schwartz
US Naval Research Laboratory

Trained and educated as both an applied mathematician (University of Maryland, Ph.D.) and physicist (University of Hartford, BS), Dr. Schwartz and his collaborators, post-doctoral fellows and students have impacted a diverse array of applications in the field of nonlinear science. Dr. Schwartz has over 120 refereed publications in areas such as physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry. The main underlying theme in the applications field has been the mathematical and numerical techniques of nonlinear dynamics and chaos, and most recently, nonlinear stochastic analysis and control of cooperative and networked dynamical systems. Dr. Schwartz has been written up several times in Science and Scientific American magazines, has given invited and plenary talks at international applied mathematics, physics, and engineering conferences, and he is one of the founding organizers of the biennial SIAM conference on Dynamical Systems. Several of his discoveries developed in nonlinear science are currently patented, including collaborative robots, synchronized coupled lasers, and chaos tracking and control for which he was awarded the US Navy Tech Transfer award. Dr. Schwartz is an elected fellow of the American Physical Society and the current vice-chair of the SIAM Dynamical Systems Group.

Speaker: Dr. John Burns
Virginia Tech 

John Burns is the Hatcher Professor of Mathematics at Virginia Tech and the Director of the Center for Optimal Design and Control.  He has published over 165 research papers on computational methods for identification, design, optimization and control of systems governed by partial and functional differential equations.  He has given more than 300 invited lectures and directed over 25 Ph.D. students and 15 MS thesis.  His recent book, “Introduction to the Calculus of Variations with Modern Applications” was listed as a featured review in the June 2014, SIAM Review.  He has served on more than 12 editorial boards and he was the founding Editor of the SIAM Book Series on Advances in Design and Control.  He served as Vice President of SIAM, is the past Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on Systems and Control and is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of SIAM.  Dr. Burns was awarded the 2010 Reid Prize for his fundamental contributions in computational methods for and applications in control, design and optimization of infinite dimensional dynamical systems.

Dr. Burns’ primary interests concern the development of rigorous and practical computational algorithms for model reduction, design and optimization and sensitivity analysis of engineering and biological systems.  He has applied his research to a wide variety of areas including fluid dynamics, smart materials, large space structures, nano-devices, aerodynamics, mathematical biology and control of energy efficient buildings.  Dr. Burns has been a consultant and advisor to Booz Allen & Hamilton, NASA Langley Research Center, The Air Force Research Labs, DARPA, The Babcock and Wilcox Company, Solers Inc., United Technologies Corporation and has held several visiting positions in the USA, Europe and Asia.

Dr. Burns’ current research is focused on computational methods for modeling, control, estimation and optimization of complex engineering systems where spatially distributed information is essential. Recent applications are defined by the dynamics of thermal fluids and have applications to design and control of air management systems for aerospace and building industries.

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