One of SIAM’s newest chapters, its 104th, based at Cardiff University, held its inaugural meeting, the SIAM Chapter Day, on January 21st, 2013.
Student Chapters of SIAM (The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) are groups based at universities and colleges with the aim of promoting applied mathematics and computational science to young mathematicians. Chapters organize a wide range of activities, including conferences, guest lectures, visits to industry, and social events. They have been an area of growing activity for SIAM in recent years and there are now 108 student chapters worldwide, including 23 outside the United States.
I attended the Cardiff meeting and was one of the speakers, along with Simon Cox (Aberystwyth), Alain Goriely (Oxford) and Matthew Gilbert (Sheffield). The lecture theatre was close to full, with an audience of 70 or so. A significant portion of the audience, and the poster presenters, was from the School of Engineering, reflecting the strong links that exist between mathematics and engineering at Cardiff.
Angela Mihai is the Chapter’s faculty representative, and also the driving force behind the Chapter being formed. In her opening remarks she mentioned that although this is the Chapter’s launch event, Chapter members have already participated in several events organized by other UK Chapters and the UK & Republic of Ireland SIAM Section. All the signs are that this, the first SIAM Chapter in Wales, will be a great success.
SIAM provides funding to support activities, awarding over $36,000 to 74 Student Chapters in the 2012-13 academic year, and it offers support for a Chapter representative to attend the SIAM Annual Meeting and meet with the SIAM leadership. Chapters often collaborate in organizing events, such as the SIAM National Student Chapter Conference held in Manchester in 2012, and these provide an excellent opportunity for networking with like-minded students off campus.
If there is not a SIAM chapter at your institution, it is worth considering setting one up. The process is simple, requiring a letter of intent and petition signed by at least 12 regular or student members of SIAM. If you have trouble getting the signatures I will be happy to help (as will other SIAM officers).
For information on how to set up a Student Chapter see the Student Chapter page on the SIAM website. If you have any questions, contact SIAM’s Membership Manager, Susan Whitehouse, at the address on the web page just mentioned.
See the SIAM Student Blog for ideas on organizing chapter events.