Initial Publication Date: January 8, 2014

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

14,000 members
Education staff lead: Peter Turner,
The mission of SIAM is

  • To advance the application of mathematics and computational science to engineering, industry, science, and society;
  • To promote research that will lead to effective new mathematical and computational methods and techniques for science, engineering, industry, and society;
  • To provide media for the exchange of information and ideas among mathematicians, engineers, and scientists.
  • To promote communication and educational programs where applied, industrial, and computational mathematics will flourish.

SIAM's mission is to serve the disciplines of applied mathematics and computational science, and the people who work in those areas, through activities that promote our professional (and professionals), like conferences, journals and other publications, professional development and professional recognition.

Promoting educational programs where applied, industrial, and computational mathematics will flourish is part of our mission. Undergraduate education is the place where applied and computational mathematics has its foundation, in such areas as mathematical modeling and numerical methods.

Premier Contribution to Faculty Development

Professional Development workshops at SIAM Annual Meetings (2012 and upcoming in 2014)

The second Modeling across the Curriculum proposal picks up from where the previous workshop and report left off. The second workshop will be more narrowly focused on some of the principal recommendations from the predecessor workshop:

  • Expand modeling in K-12
  • Develop a HS modeling course with stratified content
  • Develop modeling-based undergraduate curricula

The importance of computational and statistical modeling for future STEM graduates and workforce has resulted in our seeking closer collaboration with the American Statistical Association for the second workshop.

The original proposal grew out of discussion between representatives of SIAM and NSF/EHR in February, 2011. Several potential areas for collaboration were explored. These included Undergraduate STEM Programs and Courses, Common Core State Standards Implementation, Teacher Professional Development Workshops, K-12 (especially HS) Applied Mathematics/ Mathematical Modeling Course Development, College Readiness and Career Preparation, and Mathematics Education Majors' Undergraduate Coursework.

The primary objective of the first workshop was to develop several of these ideas to a level where they can be the subjects of more specific proposals and plans. The eventual coverage should be broad in terms of both topical content and in terms of audience. Applied and Computational Mathematics including Statistics (ACMS) is a natural topical center for coordinated STEM programs both feeding and gaining from all other STEM fields.

A number of additional areas for potential collaboration were included in the discussion as aspects of the major themes. Distance learning has potential as a delivery tool especially in both rural and inner city communities, especially for any K-12 course or project implementation and for teacher professional development. A related idea was the development of a web-based resource center that should be quality controlled and well maintained and organized.

Additional Undergraduate Education Activities of SIAM

  • Other important activities are the preparation of reports on undergraduate programs in Computational Science and Engineering and in Applied Mathematics. The first of these is published in SIAM Review (SIAM Review, 53(3), 561-574, DOI: 10.1137/07070406X) and, in longer form, on SIAM's web site. The second is in late stages of preparation.
  • A major impact has also been the Moodys Mega Math Challenge for high school students. This program now attracts close to 1500 high school team entries each year. It has been expanding its reach across the United States and is planned for international expansion in the next few years.
  • The launch of SIURO (SIAM Undergraduate Research Online) has had a significant impact on undergraduate research activities in applied and computational mathematics. This archival "journal" has quickly established itself as a leading outlet for undergraduate work of the highest quality.
  • The "Why do Math?" Project is an excellent outlet for showcasing mathematics in a way that allows readers a gentle overview of a topic and then to delve as deeply as they may wish.
  • SIAM is also playing an important role in the development of the next CBMS Forum which will concentrate on Undergraduate programs and especially the transitional first two years of college.