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SIAM-UTK Chapter


You’ve found yourself on the website for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s SIAM Chapter!

What is SIAM?

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, or SIAM for short, is an internationally recognized organization designed to promote development of mathematical research not only for the sake of the discipline’s own advancement, but also for use in a wide range of other disciplines. These disciplines include physics, chemistry, biology, all facets of engineering, and computer science. SIAM organizes regular conferences and outreach activities to bring the mathematics community closer together, unifying academia and industry.

Mission Statement of Our Chapter

At the University of Tennessee, our SIAM chapter intends to emulate the missions of the entire organization in a more local setting. In addition, we look to stimulate the professional growth of our students. This includes graduate and undergraduate students in all of the disciplines that SIAM reaches. We provide professional development and networking opportunities in many different formats, ranging from webinars to larger-scale conferences. Connecting with industry experts is a common theme in much of what we do. And we want you to be a part of it.


Current Officers (2020-2021)

President: Mitchell Sutton

Research Interests: Fractional Partial Differential Equations, Numerical Approximation of FPDEs and Nonlocal Operators

Bio: Mitchell is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mathematics under the advisement of Dr. Xiaobing Feng. Before his studies at UTK, Mitchell completed a B.S. in Mathematics at Milligan University with a minor in physics. His research spans areas of analysis, differential equations, and numerical analysis with a desire to apply the technical skills developed in these areas to a variety of physical and biological models. This year marks Mitchell’s second year serving as President of the SIAM UTK student chapter.

Vice-President: Morganne Igoe

Research Interests: Mathematical Biology, Infectious Disease, Optimal Control

Bio: Morganne received her BS in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2017 and her MS in Mathematics from the University of Tennessee in 2019. Her dissertation research focuses on reframing optimal control problems to more accurately address the goals of public health policy makers. Her PhD Advisor is Dr. Suzanne Lenhart.

Press Secretary: Joshua Siktar

Research Interests: Partial Differential Equations and Analysis

Bio: Before enrolling in the Mathematics PhD program at the University of Tennessee, Joshua Siktar completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University. He is beginning research in partial differential equations and numerical analysis jointly with Dr. Tadele Mengesha and Dr. Abner Salgado. He also has extensive experience mentoring undergraduate students of various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Treasurer: Kelechi Akwataghibe

Research Interests:  Data Science

Bio: Kelechi Akwataghibe completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at Jacksonville University, Florida.

Faculty Advisors: Suzanne Lenhart and Xiaobing Feng

Past Officers

SIAM Officers 2019-2020

  • Faculty Advisor: Suzanne Lenhart
  • President: Mitchell Sutton
  • Vice President: Cara Sulyok
  • Treasurer: Samantha Clapp
  • Secretary: Morganne Igoe
  • Webmaster: Athma Senthilnathan

SIAM Officers 2018-2019

  • Faculty Advisor: Suzanne Lenhart
  • President: Tricia Phillips
  • Vice President: Morganne Igoe
  • Treasurer: Mahir Demir
  • Secretary: Cameron Cook
  • Webmaster: Athma Senthilnathan
  • Event coordinator: Ibrahim Aslan

SIAM Officers 2017-2018

  • Faculty Advisor: Suzanne Lenhart
  • President: Tricia Phillips
  • Vice President: Mustafa Zeki Elmas
  • Treasurer: Mahir Demir
  • Webmaster: Athma Senthilnathan
  • Event coordinator: Ibrahim Aslan

Membership Info

Why Become a Member?

Joining our SIAM Chapter at UT comes with the following benefits:

How to Become a Member

SIAM membership is free for all UT graduate and undergraduate students. Just follow these instructions!

  1. Go to this link.
  2. Click Create Account (blue button). Use a school email address rather than a personal email address.
  3. Type in prompted information and continue.
  4. Click “Add Education” and select the graduate program you are in. The institution is UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE KNOXVILLE. The start date is when you began the program.
  5. Click “Add Student Chapter” and find the University of Tennessee Student Chapter.
  6. Provide the requested information and continue.
  7. Select the appropriate membership depending on whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student.
  8. Select TWO activity groups for free (and pay for more if you wish)
  9. You may select to add Journal products to your account. The only free one is Applied Algebra and Geometry (Optional)
  10. Follow the remaining prompts to complete your order.


Upcoming Events

SIAM Faculty Series: Dr. Juan Restrepo

April 12, 2021; 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM; Zoom

Past Events

1st Annual Graduate Research Presentation Competition

March 17, 2021; 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM; Zoom

March 25, 2021; 4:30 PM – 5:20 PM; Zoom

Summary: Six graduate students are presenting about their current work, spanning topics from malaria models to differential geometry. Their presentations are critiqued and judged by faculty members, and cash prizes will be awarded. This event is split over two days so that all speakers have enough time to present their projects.

The first, second, and third place winners will be announced at the annual Honors Day celebration hosted by the Mathematics department.

A Morning Chat with Betsy Heines

March 12, 2021, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM; Zoom

Summary: Dr. Betsy Heines, UTK Math PhD alum from 2017, shared a story about the pivots she made during her career trajectory and how she ultimately ended up in a government position. She reminisced about prelim exams and selecting an advisor, and lead up to explaining how she obtained the job offer she ultimately accepted, including negotiation techniques and conducting an effective job search for government positions.

Some online resources Heines shared are linked below:usajobs.gov

A Lunchtime Chat with Dr. Olivia Prosper

November 17, 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM; Zoom

Joint with AWM


Summary: Dr. Prosper spoke about her family history and career path. Originally interested in the humanities, she eventually became interested in math biology after having several family members pass away from cancer. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Florida. While a graduate student, she participated in a summer math biology program at ASU called MTBI. She emphasized the importance of deciding what kind of work you want to do when choosing a post-doc position (if you want to have a teaching component or focus on research). At this point she discussed the difference between doing a post-doc in a math vs non-math department. 

She talked about her work as a teaching post-doc at Dartmouth and her participation in a women in math biology group at the IMA. This lead to a discussion on the importance of the collaborations and mentors that can come out of networking. She then talked about moving to the University of Kentucky for her first tenure track job, and her decision to come to UT just before she became eligible for tenure at UK due to her husband working in the Knoxville area, and the process of negotiating tenure at UT so that she did not have to repeat the time she spent at UK working toward tenure when she moved to UT.

Then, she answered questions about work life balance and emphasized setting boundaries and using the time you have effectively. She also talked about learning to say no to projects and being more selective in the activities you participate in in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Finally, she spoke about her advising style, and the fact that she is an open and hands on advisor.

This event was targeted at all math graduate students, particularly those in the department’s math ecology concentration who are actively looking for an advisor.

How to use LinkedIn for your job search

October 9, 2020, 12:35 PM – 1:05 PM; Zoom

Event Advertisement Flyer


Video Recording

Engaging Your Network (Presentation Slides)

Summary: Kertesha Riley of the university’s Career Services office provided a fundamental overview of how to identify and establish a network, both in general and specifically on LinkedIn. She emphasized the importance of prioritizing attributes of your past work experience and current network based on who you are talking to, condensing this into a 30-second introduction. The advice given was quite versatile and useful for networking events, interacting with people on LinkedIn, and everyday conversation with peers. Finally, Kertesha introduced us to the alumni panel on LinkedIn as a powerful tool for growing your network within your current university or alma mater.

You can look at for more information and resources. Kertesha shared this link during the event.

SIAM UTK Hosts Dr. James Sunkes (Dynetics Inc.)

September 18, 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM; Zoom

Event Advertisement Flyer


Video Recording

Summary: Dr. Sunkes spoke briefly about his path to Dynetics and an overview of what his day-to-day looks like. Although Dr. Sunkes originally envisioned himself in an academic tenure track position, he applied to a number of industry openings, including three at Dynetics. Within two days of his interview, he received and accepted an offer. Dr. Sunkes’s work focuses on research and development of radar systems. The work is collaborative; he is one of four scientists in his group that work to develop solutions for their clients. In addition to speaking about his work, Dr. Sunkes offered advice to students who are interested in industry positions such as having skills in programming and leveraging experiences like teaching to prove communication skills. He made the point that employers are looking for people who can solve problems and as a mathematician, you have skills that aid in studying and solving real world problems. Finally, he noted that networking is essential.

A Lunchtime Chat with Dr. Abner Salgado

March 5, 2020, 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM; Ayres 401

Joint with SACNAS

Summary: We invited Dr. Abner Salgado, Associate Professor of Mathematics, to detail his career trajectory to date at an informal luncheon. He spoke about his travel abroad to Russia to complete his education, and how he identified his research interests along the way. He mostly works on partial differential equations, approximation theory, and fluid dynamics, and teaches numerical analysis courses in the Mathematics Department.

2019 Graduate Student Research Showcase

November 21, 2019, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM; Ayres 123, 124

Summary: We organized four mini-symposia featuring graduate students talking about their current research. Speakers ranged from first-year students to those nearing graduation, and the talks covered a wide range of topics, from abstract algebra to disease models. The schedule and list of abstracts are provided here.

2019 SIAM Southeastern Atlantic Section Meeting

September 20-22, 2019; Ayres Hall

Summary: The University of Tennessee-Knoxville was honored to host the SIAM’s annual Southeastern Atlantic sectional conference. The plenary speakers were John A. Burns (Virginia Tech), Irene Gamba (UT-Austin), and Max Gunzburger (Florida State). The talks also featured several presentations by research scientists at nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The schedule and list of abstracts are provided here.

Student Resources

Grants and Fellowships

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (for beginning graduate and advanced undergraduate students)

American Mathematical Society Grants and Fellowships

Job Boards and Career Resources

SIAM Job Board (academic and industry postings)

SIAM Career Resources

MathJobs (academic job postings, grants, and fellowships in mathematics)

Internships with Oak Ridge National Laboratory

LinkedIn (also useful for interacting with colleagues and industry experts)

ResearchGate (also useful for sharing research projects you’ve worked on)

Thinking of a Career in Applied Mathematics

American Mathematical Society Employment Services

BIG Math Network: Talking BIG Jobs Interview Series (video archive)

Outside Events

SIAM Conference Calendar

Mathematics Conference Listing Services


101 Careers in Mathematics

BIG Jobs Guide

Travel Funding

Student Organization Travel Funds

Graduate Student Senate Travel Funds

Contact Information

If you have questions for our chapter, would like to suggest an event idea, or need anything else, please email us at

Our Facebook page is located here.