SIAM News Blog

Visiting Lecturer Program – December Spotlights

The SIAM Visiting Lecturer Program (VLP) provides the community with a roster of experienced and inspirational applied mathematicians and computational scientists in industry, government, and academia, who can speak on topics that are of interest to developing professional mathematicians. 

Learn more about the following speakers from Maryland, Connecticut, Idaho, and Germany and contact them if you are interested in them speaking at your institution.

Bonita Saunders

Research Mathematician, National Institute of Standards & Technology | Gaithersburg, Maryland, U.S.

Job Description: Research mathematician in Applied and Computational Mathematics Division, visualization editor for NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions, project leader for NIST Standard Reference Tables on Demand Project. Current research interests in mesh/grid generation, 3D visualization of mathematical functions, mathematical software for special functions.

Other Positions:
 Programmer/Analyst at BDM Corporation, Mathematics Instructor at Hampton, University, Mathematics Instructor at Norfolk State University

Education: B.A. in Mathematics   /   M.S. in Mathematics   /   Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics

Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Web-Based 3D Graphics for the Interactive Visualization of Complex Function Data / Undergraduate math majors and beyond
Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Research in Computational and Applied Mathematics at the National Institute of Standards and Technology / Undergraduate math majors and beyond
Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Discovering the NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions Through its User-Friendly Technology / Undergraduate math majors and beyond

Geographical Constraints: Contiguous United States only

Bob LaBarre

Principal Mathematician & Associate Director, System Dynamics & Optimization, United Technologies Research Center | Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.


Job Description: Lead group of 15 Ph.D. researchers doing applied research for industrial concerns.

Other Positions: Conducted research and lead research teams with the UTRC for 40 years.

Education: B.S. in Mathematics (University Scholar), Univ. of Connecticut, 1976   /   M.S. in Mathematics, Univ. of Connecticut, 1978   /   Ph.D. in Mathematics (part-time while working full-time), Univ. of Connecticut, 1987-1992.   /   Elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) in 2010. University of Connecticut Honors Program Distinguised Alumni Award, 2015

Other information: Adjunct faculty member for 20 years (RPI-Hartford, Uconn) Member of the Mathematical Sciences Advisory Boaed, WPI since 1999 Co-advised 2 industrial Ph.D. students (completed). 1 at UIUC, 1 at UMass.

Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Linear Algebra from a Geometric Viewpoint: Aha moments in Numerical Computations. / Undergraduate mathematics and above
Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Uncertainty Quantification through Polynomial Chaos: A simple Stochastic ODE / Undergraduate mathematics and above
Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Industrial Mathematics: An Oxymoron or More Than you Know? / General Audience

Rob Van Kirk

Senior Scientist, Henry's Fork Foundation | Ashton, Idaho, U.S.

Job Description:
 Direct the science and technology program at a small nonprofit watershed conservation organization.

Other Positions: Assistant and Associate Professor of Mathematics, Idaho State University

Education: B.A. in Mathematics   /   M.S. in Environmental Systems   /   Ph.D. in Mathematics

Other information: Additional graduate coursework in atmospheric science

Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Applied mathematics as preparation for a career in any STEM discipline / Undergraduate math majors and beyond
Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Emerging roles for nonprofit organizations in environmental research, education, monitoring, and management in the face of shrinking budgets for government agencies and universities / General audience (calculus experience and experience with proofs not required!)
Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Managing surface water and groundwater as a single resource: mathematically challenging but necessary to ensure sustainability of water resources in a changing climate / Graduate math majors and beyond

Geographical Constraints: None, as long as travel expenses are covered.

Dirk Hartmann

Project Manager, Siemens AG | Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Job Description:
 Innovator and intrapreneur in the field of simulation and digital twins with passion for solving complex problems in a scalable and sustainable business oriented way. / Featured at Siemens innovation events including the Siemens innovation day and the annual shareholder meeting.

Other Positions:
 Head of Core Technology Initiative Simulation at Siemens AG

Education: Pre-Diploma in Mathematics (equivalent to a B.S., University of Heidelberg)   /   Diploma in Mathematics (University of Heidelberg), Diploma in Physics (University of Heidelberg), Master of Advanced Studies in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (University of Cambridge)   /   Doctor of natural Sciences (University of Heidelberg)

Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: The changing Role of Simulation - From Mathematics to Digital Twins / General audience
Possible Lecture Topic and Audience: Disrupting Computer Aided Engineering - Mathematics of Accurate Interactive Engineering Solutions / Undergraduate math majors and beyond



Learn more about hosting a speaker at your institution by visiting the Program Guidelines.

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