Organizers: Raymond Johnson, Fletcher Jones, James Turner
Sponsored by Honeywell
Preparing for opportunities was the theme of a workshop on Minorities and Applied Mathematics -Connections to Industry, held October 4--6, 1996 at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), University of Minnesota. Approximately sixty invited minorities in mathematical sciences attended the workshop. Of these, forty were Ph.D. students from mathematical sciences departments in North America; the other twenty participants represented a range of professional experience from postdoc to senior scientist. Also attending were Avner Friedman, Director of the IMA; Robert Gulliver, Associate Director of the IMA; and Barry Cipra, a science writer.
The workshop was arranged by the IMA Director and the organizers to provide an atmosphere in which minority graduate students could hear about the research and careers associated with applying mathematics to real-world problems. The real-world problems presented to students involved mathematics at all levels from elementary to technical, and showed students the need to communicate across disciplines with scientists and engineers having sophisticated mathematical training. Students began that communication process (listening and speaking) at this workshop. Their careers will be enhanced by this type of exposure; they were encouraged to seek similar opportunties at their home insitutions and in their home regions. Each graduate student attending the workshop agreed to return to their home institution and make a presentation about the workshop, so that its benefits would not be limited to those who attended.
The composition of the workshop--- a relatively small group, mostly graduate students--- was based on the model used at the workshop for women at the IMA in February, 1996 and was intended to create a comfortable and relaxed environment. The workshop contained four components:
The minority mathematics community is small, and the workshop was the first opportunity for many of the students to network with minority professionals sharing their interest in mathematics.
The technical talks were uniformly of high quality, and covered a range of applications, including manufacturing of semi-conductors, microstructure of materials, design of a chemical vapor deposition reactor, mathematical problems arising in biology including freezing of tissues for biomedical engineering, dynamics of proteins in aqueous solutions, transport of solutes across cell membranes and reconstruction of images in tomography. The mathematics involved included wavelets, Markov processes, optimization, partial differential equations and computer models. (Abstracts of all the talks are in Section IV below.)
The small-group discussion sessions were also modelled on the program held for women in February. Each group included about twelve people, typically eight graduate students and four senior mathematicians. One or two people served as coordinators to assure that everyone had a chance to speak and to assure that the group covered all relevant topics. One person was designated as recorder to prepare notes of each group's discussions. Another member of each group was asked to present the group's recommendations at the final assembly of all workshop participants. Student volunteers introduced speakers after the morning session, providing another chance for them to practice their communications skills.
The organizing committee was extremely pleased with the workshop. Participants were so enthusiastic that one of their primary suggestions was a request to meet again to see how people had carried out the suggestions made to them. They wanted to use another meeting to practice skills suggested at this workshop, where graduate students would give more of the talks, and would receive advance help in order to make maximum use of the conference.
The primary value of workshops like this is the students' exposure to people like themselves with interests like theirs, who have accomplished what they are striving to accomplish. All mathematicians are members of many communities--- minorities, women, men, analysts, geometers, topologists, applied mathematicians. Workshops like this do not substitute for the specialized meetings of those communities; they serve to demonstrate the existence of a minority mathematics community which is not visible to students isolated in their graduate programs.
The meeting was valuable because minority mathematicians have an unparalleled opportunity. Mathematics research and education are rapidly changing. The minority mathematics community did not prosper under the old model; there is a willingness in our community to consider other models of preparation for a career in research. This workshop showed that minority students are eager to prepare themselves for twenty-first century opportunities.
AGONAFER, DEREJE IBM Corporation AQUINO, LESLIE Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ARREDONDO, MIGUEL Purdue University BARNES, EARL Georgia Institute of Technology BLAYNEH, KBENESH Florida A & M Univ. BRANA-MULERO, FRANCIS Shell Development CANTU, SERGIO Purdue University CLARK, ANTWAN Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute DONALDSON, JAMES Howard University ECHOLS, CARRAE University of Kentucky FOSSER, CECILIA University of Arizona GARCIA, ANGEL Los Alamos National Laboratories GILYOT, DUANE University of California-Berkeley GOMEZ, ELVIA Texas Tech Univ. GOWARD, RUSSELL University of Missouri-Columbia GRAHAM, MERIDITH Rensselaer Polytech Institute GREENE, DAVID Florida A & M Univ. HANSEN, BEN Univ. of California, Berkeley HAYES, LINDA University of Texas-Austin HOUSTON, JOHNNY Elizabeth City State University HUNT, FERN Nat. Inst. of Standards and Technology INNISS, TASHA University of Maryland-College Park JACKSON, MONICA University of Maryland JOHNSON, RAYMOND L. University of Maryland JONES, FLETCHER IBM KEEVE, MICHAEL Georgia Institute of Technology LIAMBA, LUKEMBA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee LIVINGSTON, ALICE Florida State University LONDONO, JAIME University of California-Riverside LOPEZ, GILBERTO Northwestern University MACK, IRIS Associated Technologies MAIR, BERNARD University of Florida MARTINEZ, MONICA Rice University Univ. of Texas MASON, TOM Florida A&M Univ. MCINTYRE, CLAUZELL Clark Atlanta University MEJIA, RAYMOND National Institutes of Health MEZA, JUAN C. Sandia National Laboratories MOLEFE, DANIEL F. Northern Illinois Universitiy MOORE, JOY University of Cincinnati NIGUSSIE, YARED Ohio State University PERRY, STEPHANIE North Carolina A & T Univ. PHILLIPS, ALFRED Cornell University RAMIREZ-GOMEZ, EDGARD Virginia Tech SARKAR, SHYAM Centura (Gupta) Software Corp. SIMON, TAMMY North Carolina State Univ. ST. MARY, DONALD Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst TATE, CALANDRA R. Xavier University of Louisiana TAYLOR, KEVIN University of Iowa TURNER, JAMES Florida A&M University TWUM-DANSO, NANAYAA Harvard Unversity WALLACE, ALTON Institute for Defense Analysis WATKINS, BOYCE University of Kentucky WHITAKER, SHREE North Carolina State WRIGHT, PAUL Bell Laboratories ZAMORA, PAOLA Univ. of North Carolina ZEIGLER, DAVID Texas A&M University
Mathematical problems arising in industrial applications typically embody complicated, interdisciplinary issues of formulation, analysis and solution. Minorities in mathematical careers are often attracted to areas in which their results can have a societal impact. There are manuy opportunites provided by real-world problems for high-quality research, contributions to practical results, and rewarding scientific careers. The purpose of the weekend workshop is to show examples of people and problems from industrial settings and to develop a set of concrete action items that individuals and agencies can carry out and help minority scientists at all levels and in varied environments become involved with industrial problems.
The first goal will be achieved through technical talks by selected participants chosen based on their success with real-world problems. The collection of action items will build on suggestions received at earlier workshops.
To view abstracts, click on the talk's title
|SCHEDULE for FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4|
|6:00 pm||Reception||Radisson Hotel Metrodome|
|7:00 pm||Dinner||Nolte Room, 2nd floor of Radisson Hotel Metrodome|
Florida A & M University
|What we intend to accomplish|
|SCHEDULE for SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5|
|7:30 am||Registration and Breakfast||Reception Room, EE/CS 3-176|
|Five Technical Talks|
|An integrated solid-model-based CFD modeling methodology for computer packaging applications|
University of Texas-Austin
|Applications of Freezing in Biomedical Engineering|
IBM Watson Labs
|Three-Dimensional Modeling of Optical Lithographic Patterns Used To Manufacture Computer Chips|
University of Texas-Austin
|Shallow Water Equations: Modeling of Bays, Estuaries and Oceans|
|Field-Effect Transistor Theory|
|10:00 am||Coffee Break||Reception Room EE/CS 3-176|
|Two Technical Talks|
Los Alamos National Lab.
|Multi-basin Dynamics of Proteins in Aqueous Solution|
Johnson, F. Jones, J. Turner
|Overview session on "concrete action"|
|Two "personal experience" Talks|
|Financial Engineering & Risk Management|
Institute for Defense Analyses
|Life as a "Beltway Bandit"|
|Five Technical Talks|
National Inst. of Standards and Tech.
|Mathematical Modelling of Barkhausen Jump Size Distributions|
Sandia National Laboratories
|Optimal Design and Control of Chemical Vapor Depostion Reactors|
National Institutes of Health
|Mathematics in Biology-An Application in Kidney Physiology|
University of Florida
|Two Mathematicians, an Engineer, and a Pet|
|4:10 pm||Coffee Break||Reception Room EE/CS 3-176|
|4:40-6:00 pm||Breakout Groups||Rooms EE/CS 3-180 & 3-176, VinH 556, 559, & 570|
|Participants divide into groups to draft portions of the "concrete action" document|
|6:30 pm||Dinner||Campus Club, 4th Floor Coffman Union|
Georgia Inst. of Technology
|Some Reflections on My Days at IBM|
|SCHEDULE for SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6|
|8:00 am||Coffee||Reception Room, EE/CS 3-176|
|8:30-11:30 am||Breakout Groups||Rooms EE/CS 3-180 & 3-176, VinH 556, 559, & 570|
|Participants return to their groups to continue drafting portions of the "concrete action" document, returning for a general session in EE/CS 3-180|
Johnson, F. Jones, J. Turner
Each breakout group was asked to discuss the following topics:
Although each group took a slightly different perspective on the main issues, many common elements were cited. Means of overcoming difficulties faced by students at the transition points (undergraduate to graduate, graduate to work) were subjects of numerous suggestions. Since members of the minority community frequently work in isolation, most of the recommendations were actions for individuals to undertake to prepare themselves better. The key to increasing the number of minority mathematicians is individual inititative on the items discussed below.
The main recommendations from all breakout groups are listed here in four groups; recommendations for faculty and students, recommendations for students, recommendations for academic mathematical sciences departments and recommendations for the professional societies. (Some recommendations are listed under more than one heading.)
A.     Actions for everyone
B.     Actions for students
C.     Actions for academic mathematical sciences departments
D.     Actions for professional societies