The 2013 National Conference of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) was held in San Antonio, TX, October 3-6. The organization celebrated its 40th anniversary. The conference theme was Strengthening the Nation through Diversity, Innovation & Leadership in STEM. The conference featured keynote speakers, sessions and symposia, awards, undergraduate poster presentations, graduate oral presentations, mentoring, field trips, and social events--and mathematics continues to be a significant component of the program.
The Undergraduate Student Poster presentations, held in the exhibit hall, were a highlight of the conference. Below is a slideshow of presenters in the mathematical sciences.
The following undergraduate students received awards for mathematics posters:
SACNAS has posted the abstracts of all the presenters. Again many of the mathematicians at the conference served as mentors and poster judges at the 2013 National SACNAS Conference. Many have volunteered to serve as a judge each year, and some are featured in the SACNAS Biography Project. The AMS gave each student poster presenter a bag with What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences, by Dana Mackenzie, and some small gifts in appreciation of their work.
There were Graduate Student Presentations in Mathematics as well. the prizenners in mathematics were Alicia Machuca, University of Texas at Arlington, for An Exact Solution Formula for the Kadomtsev-Petviashvili Equation, and Vianey Leos Barajas, Iowa State University, for Developing An Estimator For Fishery Withdrawals By The For-Hire Recreational Sector In The Gulf of Mexico.
Robert Megginson, professor of mathematics at University of Michigan and a long-time advocate for the underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, gave a Keynote talk on the science of climate change, and how important it is for scientists--and those who are impacted by the changes--to speak up, document and advocate for more research and solutions.
This annual session drew at least 150 students and mentors. this annual session provides a great opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to share experiences with each other and with mentors, as well as discuss mathematics, courses, graduate programs and careers in the mathematical sciences. There was a mentor at each table to answer questions and guide the discussions.
The AMS was among the institutes, colleges, universities, associations, hospitals, companies and government agencies that provided information about educational programs and career opportunities in the sciences. The AMS exhibit drew undergraduate and graduate students, mathematicians, and mentors. AMS Public Awareness Officers Mike Breen and Annette Emerson answered questions about the Society's programs and services including Find Graduate Programs in the Mathematical Sciences. This online resource--new since last year's SACNAS conference--allows users to search and sort grad programs in the U.S. and Canada by specialties, requirements, masters or PhD, size and location.
The AMS provided visitors with materials including:
The Society also displayed resources from the American Statistical Association on careers, awards and scholarships, membership, meetings and publications.
Who Wants to Be a Mathematician
Nearly 80 undergraduates took the qualifying test for the AMS Who Wants to Be a Mathematician game. Approximately 1000 attended the breakfast and saw six undergraduates compete for prizes:
Jeremy Meza won US$2500 in cash from the AMS and a TI-Nspire CX calculator from Texas Instruments.
NSF Mathematics Institutes supported many of the mathematics sessions and events.
Maria Cristina Villalobos, Professor, Department of Mathematics & Founding Director, Center of Excellence in STEM Education, University of Terxas-Pan American, received the 2013 Distinguished Undergraduate Institution Mentor Award. The AMS congratulates all the SACNAS student participants and appreciates all the mathematicians who organized the mathematics sessions, gave talks, served as mentors, and judged posters at the conference.
Next year's SACNAS conference is in Los Angeles, CA, October 15-19.
Read Highlights of the 2012 SACNAS National Conference, and watch for announcements about the 2014 SACNAS National Conference in Los Angeles, CA.
--- Annette Emerson, AMS Public Awareness Officer