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Why you should attend the SIAM Annual Meeting: Minitutorials

The SIAM Annual Meeting will be held in Boston, MA, from July 11 to 15. This post is part 2 in a series of blog posts that highlight what you should know about Annual Meeting from the eyes of the technical co-chairs, Mary Silber and David Gleich.

A great feature of this year’s SIAM Annual Meeting is that it will have two minitutorials.

Perhaps you are wondering what distinguishes a minitutorial from a minisymposium. Surely it can’t be a short course, since it is only 2 hours long? But it does have something in common with a modern course, in that it has an element of active learning to it. We recommend that you attend one or both of these minitutorials if you’d like to participate in an activity during a session, to help you engage with the material.

We invited the organizers of each of the minitutorials in the program to make these contributions fit perfectly with the themes of the meeting.

The first minitutorial, which will be held Monday morning by Professor Abraham Flaxman, brings in challenging data sets, ties to the theme of epidemiology, and addresses issues of reproducibility. Flaxman has been called the “Nate Silver” of health data and keeps a blog on a wide-ranging set of topics related to health data, software, algorithms, and papers.

The other minitutorial, on Wednesday morning, is tied to the education theme; it focuses on the challenge of designing mathematical modeling courses at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level. This minitutorial will bring in different approaches, different learning objectives, and different sample syllabi, and will be run workshop-style, meaning attendees get to work during this session. It is organized by Professors Jeffrey Humpherys, Rachel Levy, and Thomas Witelski. Expect some lively discussion – everyone seems to have an opinion on how best to teach mathematical modeling. Will the work of articulating clear learning objectives dislodge or reinforce those perspectives in just two hours?

We hope you’ll attend the minitutorial(s)! Before, at, and after the meeting, use the hashtag #SIAMAN16 to communicate with us on Twitter and Facebook.

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