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NSF Mathematics Institutes Present

Modern Math Workshop at SACNAS

October 10 - 11, 2012

Seattle, Washington

Overview |  Speakers |  Organizing Committee |  Apply/Register |  Schedule |  Flyer |  Contact Us

Overview: The eight NSF mathematics institutes and NIMBioS are pleased to offer three concurrent sessions immediately preceding the SACNAS annual meeting – one for graduate students and recent PhDs, and two for undergraduate students – to invigorate the research careers of minority mathematicians and mathematics faculty at minority-serving institutions. The "Modern Math Workshop" is one of the workshops in the Mathematical Sciences Collaborative Diversity Initiative. See the full schedule here. This workshop will highlight presentations on topics drawn from the institutes' upcoming programs, a keynote speaker, and an informative panel presentation on the 2013-14 programs and workshops. The two undergraduate sessions (applicants will choose one) are appropriate for students of any major interested in learning how mathematics contributes to our understanding of various scientific topics. Activities will include lectures and group work.

All sessions will begin with lunch on Wed. Oct. 10 and include an evening reception. The sessions will continue on Thursday morning and will end at 12:30 pm prior to the SACNAS conference lunch. All participants will come together for a keynote lecture and panel discussion.

Modern Math Workshop: The workshop features presentations by eight speakers, one on behalf of each institute. Speakers are typically chosen from among the organizers of upcoming programs at those institutes and will give an accessible presentation on exciting and current research topics associated with the upcoming institute programs. In addition there will be an informational panel of institute representatives, which will describe upcoming programs and other opportunities offered by the institutes and how to participate in them. Also, representatives from sponsoring agencies will present.

Undergraduate Minicourses in Mathematics: Two minicourses for an undergraduate audience will be offered during the Modern Math Workshop. Undergraduate applicants will choose one.

  • Mini-Course 1: Sage software workshop. William Stein, professor of mathematics at the University of Washington, Seattle, started Sage in 2005 and continues to direct this project. Sage is a freely available and freely modifiable mathematics software. Sage has become a very popular alternative to expensive commercial software such as Magma, Maple, Matlab and Mathematica. Students and faculty can plot and perform all sorts of calculations from calculus to number theory.
  • Mini-Course 2: Inferring gene regulatory networks: an algebraic geometry - systems biology connection, presented by Brandilyn Stigler, professor of mathematics at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. Gene regulatory networks are ubiquitous in molecular systems biology and contribute to the control of major biological processes including metabolism and development. Given the abundance of gene data sets, the ability to reconstruct the regulatory network underlying the data has become one of the prime objectives in systems biology research. We will introduce various methods for inferring the structure of gene regulatory networks. These methods use techniques from algebraic geometry to build models of polynomial dynamical systems, which provide a rich backdrop within which to perform network analyses. We will demonstrate the use of the methods with a Macaulay 2 based web application.

Keynote Speaker: Mariel Vazquez, Associate Professor of Mathematics, San Francisco State University

Modern Math Workshop and Mini-Courses 2012 Schedule   (printable pdf)

Descriptive flyer (pdf)

Presentation at SACNAS (pdf) by Sastry G. Pantula,
Director, Division of Mathematical Sciences, National Science Foundation

Organizing Committee

Jeff Brock (ICERM, Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics)
Ricardo Cortez (Tulane University)
Ruth Crane (ICERM, Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics)
Suzanne Lenhart (University of Tennessee and NIMBioS)
Ivelisse Rubio (University of Puerto Rico, Computer Science)
Greg Wiggins (NIMBioS, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis)

Application/Registration: Application and registration for the 2012 event are over.

Contact Us
For further information about the program, please contact Greg Wiggins, Education and Outreach Coordinator, NIMBioS (Email: or Suzanne Lenhart, Associate Director for Education and Outreach, NIMBioS (Email:

Presented by

AIM (American Institute of Mathematics)
IAS (Institute for Advanced Study)
ICERM (Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics)
IMA (Institute for Mathematics and its Applications)
IPAM (Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics)
MBI (Mathematical Biosciences Institute)
MSRI (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute)
NIMBioS (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis)
SAMSI (Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute)