Hans Kaper recounts Joint Mathematics Meetings

This year's Joint Mathematics Meetings took place in San Antonio, Texas, January 10-13, 2015. With more than 6,000 registered participants, this is the largest annual gathering of mathematicians in the US. The word "joint" in the title refers to the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), who are the co-organizers of the meeting; other professional organizations, including SIAM, participate by invitation. The program consists of the usual mix of invited talks, special sessions, invited paper sessions, contributed paper sessions, and poster sessions. It also offers an employment center, a book exhibit, and many opportunities for networking.

MCRN was well represented, with Alejandro Aceves, Tom Bellsky, Ken Golden, Alanna Hoyer-Leitzel, Hans Kaper, Bevin Maultsby, Dick McGehee, Eric Kostelich, and Andrew Roberts. Several of us attended the reception hosted by the North American Mathematical Institutes on Saturday evening, which is always a major social event.

On Sunday, an MAA Invited Paper Session on "The Mathematics of Planet Earth," organized by Christiane Rousseau (U. Montreal) and Hans Kaper (MCRN), provided an opportunity to highlight some of the work of the MCRN and announce the recent formation of a "SIAM Activity Group on Mathematics of Planet Earth" (SIAG-MPE). The session featured presentations by Andrew Roberts (a multimodal oscillation model of ENSO), Dick McGehee (Hopf bifurcation for discontinuous vector fields, with application to ocean box models), and Ken Golden (modeling sea ice and the melting of the polar ice caps). Other speakers in the session were Pietro-Luciano Buono (collective motion of animal populations), Clint Dawson (mathematics of the coastal ocean), Alik Ismail-Zadeh (inverse problems of geodynamics), Todd Arbogast (two-phase flow in the Earth's mantle), and Mary Wheeler (coupling flow and mechanics in porous media).

I attended several special lectures during the meeting. Memorable ones were the Porter Lecture by Don Saari (voting paradoxes), the Gibbs Lecture by Ron Graham (discrete math problems), and invited lectures by Jordan Ellenberg (beating the lottery), Christiane Rousseau (divergent series and differential equations), and Richard Tapia (isoperimetric problem). I also attended a panel session of the AMS Committee on Science Policy, where the discussion was focused on the recent report "Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream," published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The report calls for increasing federal spending on research to 0.3% of  the gross domestic product (GDP); current federal research spending is about 0.19% of the GDP.

Ending on a positive note, I had a good time at a reception hosted by the Environmental Mathematics Special Interest Group of the MAA.

Thank you, Hans!



MCRN Talks and Meetings at JMM

Saturday January 10, 2015, 6:00 p.m.: Informal MCRN Meeting
Location: IMA table at the Open House of the Institutes in Mathematical Sciences (link)
Texas Ballroom, Salons A & B, located on the 4th Floor (map) Grand Hyatt San Antonio (600 E. Market Street, San Antonio, TX, 78205)


Sunday January 11, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-11:55 a.m.: MAA Invited Paper Session on The Mathematics of Planet Earth, I
Room 214D, Convention Center
Organizers: Christiane Rousseau, Université de Montréal
                  Hans G Kaper, Georgetown University and Mathematics and Climate Research Network

8:30 a.m. Mathematics of Planet Earth - What is it all about?
Hans G Kaper*, Georgetown University
Christiane Rousseau, Université de Montréal

9:00 a.m. Patterns in collective motion and space use of animal populations: a mechanistic approach.
Pietro-Luciano Buono*, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

9:45 a.m. TALK CANCELLED: Lithopanspermia Hypothesis.
Edward Belbruno*, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University
INSTEAD: Andrew Roberts (Department of Mathematics, Cornell University) will talk about El Niño

10:30 a.m. Mathematics of the Coastal Ocean.
Clint Dawson*, University of Texas at Austin

11:15 a.m. Hopf Bifurcation for Discontinuous Vector Fields with Application to an Ocean Box Model.
Juliann Leifeld, University of Minnesota
Richard McGehee*, University of Minnesota


Sunday January 11, 2015, 1:00 p.m.-3:55 p.m.: MAA Invited Paper Session on The Mathematics of Planet Earth, II
Room 214D, Convention Center
Organizers: Christiane Rousseau, Université de Montréal
                  Hans G Kaper, Georgetown University and Mathematics and Climate Research Network

1:00 p.m. Modeling the Melt: What Math Tells Us About the Shrinking Polar Ice Caps.
Kenneth M. Golden*, University of Utah

1:45 p.m. Inverse Retrospective Problems in Dynamics of the Earth's Interior.
Alik Ismail-Zadeh*, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow; and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

2:30 p.m. Approximation of a Degenerate Elliptic Equation Arising from a Two-Phase Mixture Modeling the Motion of the Earth's Mantle.
Todd Arbogast*, University of Texas at Austin
Marc A Hesse, University of Texas at Austin
Abraham L Taicher, University of Texas at Austin

3:15 p.m. Coupling flow and mechanics porous media.
Mary F Wheeler*, The University of Texas at Austin


Monday January 12, 2015, 8:00 a.m.-10:55 a.m.: MAA General Contributed Paper Session on Research in Applied Mathematics, II

10:45 a.m. Stability of localized structure for a semi-arid climate model.
Thomas Bellsky*, University of Maine


Monday January 12, 2015, 8:00 a.m.-10:20 a.m.: MAA Session on Collaborations between Two-Year and Four-Year Institutions that Create Pathways to a Math Major

9:30 a.m. MCTP: A Partnership between Arizona State University and Maricopa Community Colleges.
K. Harrison Holmes*, Arizona State University
Eric J. Kostelich, School of Mathematical and Statistical Science, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

10:00 a.m. The Mathematics Mentoring Partnership between the Maricopa County Community College District and Arizona State University.
Eric J. Kostelich*, Arizona State University
Roberto Ribas, Scottsdale Community College


Monday January 12, 2015, 1:00 p.m.-5:50 p.m.: AMS Special Session on Theory and Application of Reaction Diffusion Models, II

3:30 p.m. Geometry of radial states in p-Laplacian equations.
Bevin Laurel Maultsby*, University of Minnesota



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