SIAM News Blog

Updates from the December SIAM Board Meeting

By James Crowley

At its December meeting, the SIAM Board of Trustees took many significant actions of interest to members, including changes in membership options and approval of a new SIAM activity group (SIAG), conference, and section.

Going Green

Of note is the move towards a greener option with cost savings. SIAM membership has always included a print copy of SIAM Review. In its desire to reduce SIAM’s carbon footprint and save money, the Board agreed to make receipt of the print copy of SIAM Review an opt-in selection. Members who do not actively indicate their preference to continue to receive the print copy in their next renewal will not receive it. Of course, all members will retain access to the online version as part of their membership.

Along the same lines, the Board moved to eliminate paper copies of full programs from conferences whenever practical (except for the Program-at-a-Glance, which will still be available in print). The online program and the mobile app (for those conferences that provide apps) will allow attendees to find information on sessions and talks at future SIAM meetings.

Activity Groups and Sections

The Board also approved creation of the SIAM Activity Group on Applied and Computational Discrete Algorithms (SIAG/ACDA). This SIAG grew in part out of a series of SIAM workshops on Combinatorial Scientific Computing but has expanded coverage to include more subjects. SIAG/ACDA fosters research on the design, theoretical analysis, computational evaluation, and deployment of algorithms for combinatorial problems formulated from applications. It complements—but does not replace—the SIAG on Discrete Mathematics, which will continue operation according to its approved charter. A biennial SIAM conference will be organized by the SIAG. Further details about SIAG/ACDA will be forthcoming.

Besides this new SIAG, the Board recently authorized the creation of the SIAM Conference on Mathematics of Data Science. The inaugural meeting will occur in the spring of 2020 and be co-located with—but independent of—the SIAM Conference on Data Mining. The dates and location are still being finalized at the time of this writing. Like a standard SIAM conference, the data science conference will feature minisymposia and invited talks. Its topical coverage will be similar to areas served by the new SIAM Journal on the Mathematics of Data Science, which began accepting papers in 2018.

In the fall of 2018, the Board also approved the SIAM Northern States Section — a new SIAM section that covers a region of the U.S. including the Dakotas, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. As is standard practice, members of SIAM living in the designated region are considered members of the section. Sections hold regional meetings, workshops, and conferences. The first meeting of the Northern States Section will take place in the fall of 2019. Additional conversation about regional sections—their purpose, funding, and governance—will occur at a later date.

Tondeur Donation

SIAM leadership wishes to thank Philippe Tondeur (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) for his very generous donation to SIAM. Philippe contributed $100,000 to SIAM—and a similar amount to its sister societies, the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA)—to support the mission of the BIG Math Network, a joint collaboration among several organizations to raise awareness and promote opportunities for mathematics students’ employment in business, industry, and government. The BIG Math Network—formerly chaired by Rachel Levy (MAA), then SIAM Vice President for Education—is currently led by Fadil Santosa (University of Minnesota). SIAM is developing programs, in coordination with the BIG Math Network, to carry out Philippe’s wishes.

Changes to the Fellows Program

The SIAM Fellows Program has been very popular in recent years in terms of nomination submissions. The large number of nominations necessitated several modifications, including an earlier nomination submission deadline to provide the Fellows Selection Committee with more review time. This year’s nominations will close on Wednesday, October 16. To simplify the selection process and ensure fairness, some standardization of nomination packages will also be enforced. See the Fellows website for details pertaining to specifications on page length, font size, etc. SIAM thanks those involved for their hard work in making this a successful program.

Looking Ahead

Through a set of ad hoc committees, the Board has started further discussion on a variety of issues, motivated in part by SIAM’s deficits over the past few years. SIAM News readers will hear more about the results from these committees in future updates.

January 1 was a date of many transitions, as newly-elected members of the Board and Council assumed office and new committee memberships took effect. We would like to thank all outgoing committee members for their service. Two particular transitions are of note: Lisa Fauci (Tulane University), elected in the fall of 2017, takes over as SIAM President after one year as President-Elect. Nick Higham (University of Manchester) becomes Past President for 2019.

We also welcome Richard Moore to SIAM as the new Director of Programs and Services. Richard is replacing Linda Thiel, who retired in late 2018.


SIAM is happy to receive suggestions from its members. You can do this through the footer of any page of the SIAM website, where an item labeled “Suggestions” links to a form that states, “Whether you want to recommend a member to a leadership position, add your company to our list of career resources, weigh in on our new website, ask a question, or anything else, we want to hear from you.” Let us know if you have a question or suggestion. Suggestions made on the site go to me, the executive director, and I ensure that the appropriate person or committee receives and reacts to each message.

   James Crowley is the executive director of SIAM.
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