Wayne State hosts mathematicians from across the globe at annual SIAM conference


A group of 130 conference attendees pose in front of Wayne State's STEM Center

This semester, Wayne State University’s Department of Mathematics hosted the Great Lakes Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics conference with over 130 participants. The overwhelming attendance marked this the largest Great Lakes regional meeting ever. The conference was also the first large-scale event to be held in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) is one of the biggest international communities for industrial and applied mathematics. This annual meeting of the Great Lakes region serves as a glue between academia and those working in the industry. With representation from diverse fields such as applied mathematics, data science, computation and statics, attendees were encouraged to share their research, ideas and projects. 

The conference was held in Wayne State’s STEM Innovation Learning Center in Detroit. The day-long conference included four keynote speakers, 18 mini-symposia and talk sessions, three coffee breaks and lunch. Students and researchers had plenty of interaction time, allowing them to network and build connections. The event also featured talks by noted scholars R. Tyrrell Rockafellar, Ph.D., Ridgway Scott, Ph.D. and Guo-Wei Wei, Ph.D. They covered critical topics such as optimization, numerical analysis and mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2.

2022 Great Lakes Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Conference

WSU was honored to welcome back former College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Wayne M. Raskind as one of the keynote speakers. Raskind is now the Director of the Center for Communications Research in Princeton, New Jersey. 

Raskind, a theoretical mathematician, explores the boundaries and structures of algebraic models. His plenary discussion focused on the methods of applied mathematics that arise in addressing problems of national security. He currently oversees engineers, mathematicians and scientists who are working to solve some of the hardest problems surrounding national security. Professor and Department of Mathematics Chair Hengguang Li, who assisted in organizing this event, invited Raskind to show other career paths are available to math grads.

Li extended the invitation to other departments at the university, College of Engineering and School of Medicine, to help widen the concept of applied mathematics. There was a great turnout of students and faculty from the university, some even participated in contributed talks or mini-symposia. This event was a wonderful networking opportunity and environment for academia, industrial and applied mathematics interactions. 

The Great Lakes SIAM conference emphasized the interest of applied mathematics and data science and the excitement of high-level research in the industry. 

“I have a lot of passion for math research and education,” Li said. “Wayne State University has the potential and the leadership to advocate for broader math education and become a hub that connects K-12 schools to higher education.”

By Nia K. Moore, Wayne State CLAS Public Relations Associate 

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