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SIAM News article on the 2019 Siam-Texas/Louisiana conference hosted by SMU


Originally Posted: Jan. 27, 2020

The SIAM Texas-Louisiana Section held its second annual meeting jointly with Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Department of Mathematics in Dallas, Texas, last November. SIAM contributions—along with two grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF)—helped support the conference and enabled the attendance of students and early career mathematicians.

The meeting attracted over 200 attendees, largely from Texas and Louisiana. Topics spanned a wide variety of fields, ranging from imaging to geometry — with two “tracks” devoted to applications of topology and machine learning. The conference consisted of nearly 40 minisymposia, an undergraduate session, and a poster session with over 30 posters (including those from undergraduate participants). A panel also focused on the future of applied mathematics in business, industry, and government.

All conference attendees gather outside of Dallas Hall at Southern Methodist University.

Three plenary speakers covered a breadth of important mathematical applications. Steve Jiang (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center) described his group’s research in medical functions of artificial intelligence. Susan E. Minkoff (University of Texas at Dallas) presented an overview of mathematical problems in geosciences, including micro-seismic events (extremely small earthquakes) generated during the process of fracking for hydrocarbons on land. And Peter Kuchment (Texas A&M University) surveyed three recent techniques in medical and homeland security imaging: hybridization of physical modalities in the imaging process to simultaneously achieve acceptable contrast and resolution, invoking of “internal information” in solving inverse problems, and “cone transforms” and Compton-type camera imaging for emission imaging with low signal-to-noise data.

An NSF Research Training Group grant allowed approximately 15 undergraduate students to attend a presentation on mathematics and economics by Cullum Clark (George W. Bush Presidential Center), as well as a lecture on linear algebra’s applications to imaging science by Prasanna Rangarajan (SMU). Additionally, a minisymposium focused on research opportunities for undergraduates.

Undergraduate attendees of the SIAM Texas-Louisiana Section’s annual meeting pose at the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Thanks to the efforts of the organizing committee, the SIAM Texas-Louisiana Section’s annual meeting was successful and almost all reviews were positive. Many attendees indicated that they gained new ideas and collaborations as a direct result of the conference. READ MORE

Officers of the SIAM Texas-Louisiana Section