Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, Jan. 6-9

December 27, 2007

Providence, RI: Over 5,000 mathematicians will attend the annual meetings of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and Mathematical Association of America (MAA) at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego (CA), January 6-9. Researchers will present over 1,900 papers from all specialties of mathematics. The website for the Meetings is http://www.ams.org/amsmtgs/2109_intro.html.

The Press Room will be in the Registration area of the San Diego Convention Center, offering free wireless access, fact sheets, the book of abstracts, the complete program of the Meetings, a phone, and a place to conduct interviews. Hours: Sunday January 6 through Tuesday January 8, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and Wednesday January 9, 7:30 a.m.-noon. The press room phone number is 619-525-6204.

The annual meetings provide an opportunity for mathematicians in all fields of mathematics to present talks and participate in panels on topics ranging from high-level research on new approaches to unsolved theoretical problems to recent applications of math to issues such as global warming, voting, biology, and how to improve math education.

Topics include:The Environment and Climate Change

Climate models are based on a considerable amount of data and involve complex dynamics. Mathematics is necessary to make sense of the data and to generate good predictions. Speakers at the sessions below detail mathematics' role in modeling the climate and accurately describing other aspects of the environment. [Note: SIAM stands for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.]Voting

You may have noticed that 2008 is an election year. Mathematics plays an important role in elections, not only in the counting of the votes, but also in analyzing different voting methods, apportioning the 435 congressional representatives among the states, and making decisions. The session below and the invited address highlight some of the aspects of how mathematics relates to voting. In addition, the first mathematics Ph.D. elected to the U.S. Congress, Jerry McNerney (D-CA), will hold a town meeting about federal funding of math and science.Education

A mathematically literate public and workforce is essential to the growth of the country and to its technological future. Mathematical knowledge and expertise begin in the nation's schools and are founded on the mathematical abilities of teachers. Among the many sessions and talks dealing with math education are the following:Math in Other Cultures

Math in Film and Entertainment

Mathematics and Art

Whether it's analyzing perspective in Renaissance art or determining the best way to fold origami figures and space telescopes, mathematics has a role in art.Recent Advances in Mathematical Biology, Ecology, and Epidemiology

An AMS Special Session that runs Sunday, January 6, 8:00-10:55 a.m., 2:15-6:10 p.m., and Monday, January 7, 8:00-11:55 a.m., organized by Linda J. S. Allen (Texas Tech University), Sophia R. Jang (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), and Lih-Ing W. Roeger (Texas Tech University).

Who Wants to Be a Mathematician

An AMS Special Presentation, Tuesday, January 8, 10:00-10:55 a.m. Eight of San Diego's best high school mathematics students compete for up to $3000 in cash in this very exciting and entertaining contest. Organized by Mike Breen (AMS) and Bill Butterworth (DePaul University).

A New Mathematical Frontier: The Social and Behavioral Sciences

An AMS Invited Address by Donald G. Saari (University of California, Irvine), Tuesday, January 8, 10:05-10:55 a.m. Mathematics' role in the physical sciences is well known and has existed for many centuries, but mathematics is now playing a more important role in areas such as political science and economics. Saari explains mathematics' importance in these areas and what the future may hold for mathematics in the social and behavioral sciences.

The Riemann Hypothesis

The MAA Lecture for Students, by J. Brian Conrey (The American Institute of Mathematics), Tuesday, January 8, 1:00-1:50 p.m. There is a $1,000,000 prize for solving this 150-year old problem. Considered by many to be the most important unsolved problem in mathematics, the Riemann Hypothesis deals with the distribution of the prime numbers, the basic building blocks of arithmetic. Conrey explains exactly what the Riemann Hypothesis is and gives some of the colorful history that has grown up around efforts to solve it.

Current Events Bulletin

An AMS session with four hour-long lectures about current developments in mathematics, Tuesday, January 8, 1:00-4:45 p.m., organized by David Eisenbud (University of California, Berkeley). Two of the talks are "Invisibility," by Gunther Uhlmann (University of Washington), which begins the session, and "Why are Solitons Stable"" by 2006 Fields Medalist Terence Tao (UCLA), at 4:00.

Math and Roller Coasters

"Integrated Calculus and Physics Projects Based on Roller Coaster Design," Sunday, January 6, 10:00-10:30 a.m., K. R. Fowler, J. Skufca, A. Alkahim, and T. Nishikawa (Clarkson University). Fowler present projects used in Calculus I that are based on designing a safe and thrilling roller coaster. The projects use a programmable virtual reality roller coaster. This talk is part of the SIAM Minisymposium on Education and Applied Mathematics.

Benjamin Franklin's Numbers

This talk is Wednesday, January 9, 10:00-10:30 a.m., part of the AMS-MAA Special Session on History of Mathematics. Paul C. Pasles (Villanova University) speaks on the mathematical abilities of Ben Franklin. Although Franklin did not prove any major theorems, he did apply basic mathematics to situations where only qualitative arguments had been applied before. Pasles examines a few examples and explores the mathematical climate of colonial Philadelphia.

Fingerprints

"An Examination of Fingerprint Analysis Using the Fourier Transform," Tuesday, January 8, 2:00-2:15 p.m., Micah J. Smith and Jonathan Hunt (Berea College), part of the AMS Session on Analysis and Functional Analysis. Although digital fingerprint analysis is commonly used for personal identification and is generally believed to be flawless, certain cases, such as that of an Oregon lawyer misidentified as a terrorist suspect, show that errors can occur. What are the causes of such identification errors, and what measures can reduce them" The main mathematical tool used is the Fourier transform.. Hunt focuses on two factors that may affect digitized fingerprint images: the resolution at which an image is sampled, and enhancements that may then be performed on the image. Detailed visual examples are included.
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The up-to-date meeting program is online and searchable at http://www.ams.org/amsmtgs/2109_program.html .

The Joint Mathematics Meetings are held for the purpose of advancing mathematical achievement, encouraging research, and to provide the communication necessary to progress in the field. These meetings serve to preserve, supplement, and utilize the results of the research of mathematicians the world over. Keeping abreast of the progress in mathematics results in the furtherance of the interest of mathematical scholarship and research.Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, the 30,000-member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.

American Mathematical Society

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