Interested in Industrial/Applied Maths?

Chris Munro, who has helped set up the newly formed “Manchester Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Student Chapter” promised me a blog post to tell you all about it, and good as his word, it’s here (below).

The Society is open to anyone with an interest in industrial or applied maths, whichever school you’re in – and as several of the committee members are final year PhDs, there are also impending opportunities to get involved and get that all important “leadership and teamwork” experience on your CV.

(I’d also recommend checking out Chris’s own website, as a good example of how to establish your professional on-line profile – something you could all do, whether you’re a mathematician or not.)

Over to Chris:

The Manchester SIAM Student Chapter was set up in December 2009, and is run by a committee of PhD students at the University of Manchester, with help from our Faculty Advisors Nick Higham and David Silvester.

There are many such Student Chapters in the United States where the journal is based, but the Manchester Chapter is only the third Chapter in the United Kindgom after Oxford and Edinburgh.

The committee currently consists of Chris Munro (President), Rüdiger Borsdorf (Vice President and Webmaster), Maha Al-Ammari (Treasurer), and Lijing Lin (Secretary).

SIAM is the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, an international applied mathematics journal.

The aims of SIAM are:

  1. To further the application of mathematics to industry and science.
  2. To promote basic research in mathematics leading to new methods and techniques useful to industry and science.
  3. To provide media for the exchange of information and ideas between mathematicians and other technical and scientific personnel.

When we set up the chapter we had to define its specific purposes which we decided would be to:

  1. Increase interaction between students working in applied mathematics and related disciplines, for example, chemistry, physics and and engineering (within and outside of the School of Mathematics).
  2. Provide opportunities for participants in chapter activities to develop a wide range of skills, for example communication skills when giving talks, and leadership, and teamwork skills in organizing chapter activities.
  3. Maintain links with industry.
  4. Develop and foster links and involvement between current, future and past chapter members and participants in activities, to allow sharing of experiences of working in mathematics, awareness of current work and information related to careers and job opportunities. An example activity might be a mathematics contest in modelling to increase involvement of undergraduates.

The chapter is for anyone (students both undergrad and postgrad, and staff), at the University of Manchester working, or interested in, mathematics and its applications. We would like to emphasise that anybody who is interested/working in applied maths is welcome to join/attend events, you do not need to be in the School of Mathematics!

We hope that as the Chapter establishes itself and the numbers of members grow that its activities will increase and it will hold a number of events over the year, for example, more established Chapters in the United States hold such events as organizing student talk series, tours of industrial labs, and sponsoring an undergraduate team competition in mathematical modeling.

Our first event and the main one this year will be the 1st Manchester SIAM Student Chapter Conference on 26th April, to be held in the Alan Turing Building, University of Manchester. It is aimed at those working or interested in applied maths and its applications, including both staff and students (undergraduate and postgraduate).

There will be plenary talks by Sven Hammarling from The Numerical Algorithms Group (our industrial sponsor), Sven is also an honorary research fellow at the School of Mathematics. Also from the School of Maths there will be plenary talks from Bill Lionheart and Oliver Dorn, who both work in industrial applied mathematics. The remaining talks will be mainly taken by student speakers, one from the School of Maths, one from Computer Science and we are pleased that Christian Yates (Vice President of the Oxford University SIAM Student Chapter) will also be speaking.

All of the talks will be aimed at a general applied maths background and will be of interest to undergraduates/postgraduates and those working in applied maths. The day offers an opportunity to see what kind of industrial problems applied mathematicians work on. Talks by current postgraduate students on their work will allow anyone considering postgraduate study the chance to see what PhD students are working on.

The conference is free to attend although places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. It is supported by SIAM, The Numerical Algorithms Group , and the Manchester Institute for Mathematical Sciences (MIMS), School of Mathematics, University of Manchester.

We also aim to help share information that is relevant to our members, at the moment this is mainly done through our Twitter feed, and blog, activity on both will increase as the chapter develops. For example we will mention any upcoming workshops/conferences at the University.

There will be opportunities for others to get involved with serving on the Committee – 3 out of the 4 current members are final year PhD students, so there will be an election for new members when they leave, anybody interested can put themselves up for nomination via the website closer to the time.

If you are interested in free membership to the chapter, or attending the conference, there is more information at the Manchester SIAM Student Chapter website, and you can also follow us on Twitter.