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Selected Highlights of the 2010 Joint Mathematics Meetings

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Nearly 5,800 mathematicians, exhibitors and students came to the 2010 Joint Mathematics Meetings of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in San Francisco, CA, January 13-16. Mathematicians of all ages presented work, met colleagues, mentors and new friends, attended the annual Prize Ceremony, and saw a wide range of exhibitors.

The Association for Symbolic Logic, Association for Women in Mathematics, National Association of Mathematics, National Science Foundation, Pi Mu Epsilon, Rocky Mountain Mathematics Consortium, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Young Mathematicians Network and others hosted receptions and social events. The Mathematical Art Exhibition drew many visitors, and the Graduate School Fair was again a great success. For the sixth year childcare services were available for families of registered JMM participants.

The AMS Public Awareness Office issued a Joint Mathematics Meetings news release prior to the meetings, managed a Press Room staffed by the AMS and MAA, and hosted the JMM 2010 Blog, written by AMS-AAAS Media Fellow Adriana Salerno. The meetings drew local media, freelance journalists, and press from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Science News.

Below are descriptions with photographs and slideshows of selected events at this year's impressive Joint Mathematics Meetings.

January 2010 Prizes and Awards

The following AMS prizes and awards were given: AMS Award for Distinguished Public Service: Carlos Castillo-Chavez; AMS Conant Prize: Bryna Kra; AMS Robbins Prize: Ileana Streinu; AMS Moore Prize: Sorin Popa; AMS Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement: William Fulton; AMS Steele Prize for Exposition: David Eisenbud; AMS Steele Prize for a Seminal Contribution to Research: Robert Griess; AMS Veblen Prize: Tobias H. Colding, William P. Minicozzi II, and Paul Seidel; AMS-MAA-SIAM Morgan Prize: Scott Duke Kominers; AMS-SIAM Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics: David Donoho; JPBM Communications Award: Marcus du Sautoy. See photographs of the recipients and the reception, and link to the Prize Booklet.

Invited Addresses, Sessions, and Other Activities


Researchers presented approximately 2,000 papers from all specialties of mathematics. In addition to the invited addresses, there were presentations and panels in the areas of environment and sustainability, health and medicine, the arts, women and other underrepresented groups, education and innumeracy, voting, business, history of mathematics, and sports. Read about some of the invited addresses and other talks, and view the entire program online.

AMS Exhibits and Events

The AMS hosted a Publications exhibit with hundreds of books on sale, and a Membership booth, where individuals came to renew their membership, join the Society, pick up a selection of complimentary calendars and posters, and find out about AMS programs for the profession. The booth included a "Question of the Day" for undergraduate and graduate students. The names of those who returned the correct answer were put in a box and three were picked at random to receive a bag of gifts. The Publications exhibit included a place where the AMS Acquisitions Editors met with current and prospective authors, and another section where individuals could meet the Mathematical Reviews® (MR) editors and learn what's new on MathSciNet. The AMS also hosted a Workshop for Department Chairs, a reception for book authors, an MR reception, and a brunch for recipients of JMM travel grants. The Grad School Fair was very well attended and there were lots of people at the AMS Member Banquet (see photos of both events below).

Who Wants to Be a Mathematician national game

Who Wants to Be a Mathematician champ Evan O'Dorney

The first national Who Wants to Be a Mathematician game for high school students drew a crowd of Bay Area students, teachers, and Joint Mathematics Meetings attendees. The local ABC-TV affiliate KGO covered the game on its evening news. Read more about the game including photos, videos and media coverage.

Mathematical Art Exhibition

Robert Bosch, Artist/Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Oberlin College, has been awarded the Mathematical Art Exhibition First Prize for his work, "Embrace." Second Prize was awarded for "The Vase" (giclee Print. 18" x 14.8", 2009), by Harry Benke, Artist / Mathematician, Visual Impact Analysis LLC, Novato, CA, and Third Prize for "Meditations on f(x,y) = x2/2 + xy/2 - y4/8" (plastic and wood, two pieces, each 6"x7"x7", 1998), by Richard Werner, Mathematics Professor, Mathematics Department, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA. The Mathematical Art Exhibition Prize "for aesthetically pleasing works that combine mathematics and art" was established in 2008 through an endowment provided to the American Mathematical Society by an anonymous donor who wishes to acknowledge those whose works demonstrate the beauty and elegance of mathematics expressed in a visual art form. The 2010 Mathematics Art Exhibition, included juried works in various media by 62 artists.

Grad School Fair

The third annual Grad School Fair was held at the Moscone West Convention Center on Friday morning, January 15. Hundreds of undergrads filled the room to speak with representatives from 50 graduate programs in the mathematical sciences. Coffee and tea helped to wake the students up and the school representatives were pleased with the opportunity to meet so many talented students. --- Diane Boumenot, Manager, Membership and Programs

Mathematical Sciences Employment Center

The Employment Center, held at the Moscone West Convention Center, offered many new features in 2010 including new electronic job and applicant information and interview scheduling. 83 employers and 730 applicants began their Employment Center experience in the fall as they registered online and contacted each other on the system. Over 1000 interviews were scheduled in advance on the new system, and many more were arranged privately through email.

After arriving in the Employment Center area, applicants could check their accounts on the system and, as their interview times approached, sit in the new applicant waiting area. Employers had access to their own lounge equipped with computers, printers and coffee, which helped to ease the noise level at the interview tables. Reactions to the first year of the electronic system were positive, and many noticed that the tension level throughout the area seemed diminished. The only major problem at the Employment Center was the decline in available jobs, a trend which is also apparent this year in other job services. The employers that did attend enjoyed the chance to speak with many fine applicants. --- Diane Boumenot, Manager, Membership and Programs

AMS Member Banquet

The AMS 25-Year Member Banquet was held on Saturday evening, January 16 in the Atrium at the San Francisco Marriott. The event was hosted by AMS Executive Director Donald McClure and featured an update about new AMS activities and programs such as Mathematics Research Communities, a program for young researchers. McClure read the names of those attending who had 25 years or more of AMS membership. The attendee with the longest membership history was Donald J. Lewis, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, who has been a member of the AMS since 1946. It was a lively and enjoyable evening. --- Diane Boumenot, Manager, Membership and Programs

Most of the photographs on these pages were taken by E. David Luria, Diane Boumenot (AMS) and Annette Emerson (AMS).

Save the dates of the 2011 meetings in New Orleans, LA, January 5-8.

See Highlights of the 2009 Joint Mathematics Meetings.

The Joint Mathematics Meetings are held for the purpose of advancing mathematical achievement, encouraging research, and providing the communication necessary for progress in the field. These meetings serve to preserve, supplement, and utilize the results of the research of mathematicians worldwide.

--- Annette Emerson, AMS Public Awareness Officer