Dynamical systems at JMM 2015

Everything is big in Texas. The 2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings was no exception. Over 6,000 mathematicians and a large number of talks, panels, posters, and exhibits can all be overwhelming. That is, until you look at the program and realize that all of the talks you want to go to are scheduled at the same time. That simplifies things. The mobile app simplified things this year too. Finding information in the program is best done using “find” on the desktop version of the website (the mobile website was too cumbersome and the paper program too heavy), but once you know your schedule, the mobile app is handy for quick reference and a map of the convention center.

The Lila Cockrell Theater at the convention center.

It was not the first JMM in San Antonio and the downtown seems to be made for conventions. The Riverwalk, albeit touristy, makes the city pedestrian-friendly and there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy the hungry mathematicians. The patios must be perfect for sipping margaritas and people-watching but the damp chilly weather took everyone inside. There were several hotels to choose from, all within walking distance of the conventional center, which itself has plenty of room for the meetings. It was especially nice for the exhibit hall, where the booths had room to spread out.

A 3D Printer exhibited at the Museum of Mathematics Booth.

The AMS Special Sessions had a handful of dynamical systems-themed sessions including applications to topics such as biological models; celestial mechanics; ergodic theory; fractional, stochastic, and hybrid dynamic systems; and natural resource modeling. Two planetary talks caught my attention for their connection to dynamical systems. The MAA Invited Address was given by Christiane Rousseau and was entitled “Divergent Series and Differential Equations: Past, Present, Future.” The MAA-AMS-SIAM Gerald and Judith Porter Public Lecture was given by Donald Saari and was entitled “From Voting Paradoxes to the Search for ‘Dark Matter.’” As a public lecture, it was not technical but was meant to inspire mathematicians to tackle the big issues in the world. He challenged researchers to ask if prediction methods can provide a valid approach to the study of dark matter.

A quieter spot on the river walk.

The meetings were exactly as expected and a good place to meet up with collaborators and get inspired for current research and teaching methods in mathematics.

Elizabeth Zollinger


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