Introduction to the Visiting Lecturer Program

Faculty members understand that applications play a central role in bringing students to appreciate the scope and importance of modern mathematics. A personal account of tackling a "real world" problem can be the highlight of a course at any level. To support the exploration of applications across the broad spectrum of expertise areas, SIAM's Visiting Lecturer Program (VLP) offers a valuable resource to chairpersons, colloquium organizers, and undergraduate/graduate advisors: a roster of applied mathematicians in academia, industry, and government, who can speak to students on a wide variety of topics.

The SIAM Education Committee, sponsor of the VLP, recognizes that educated members of our increasingly technological society need to be familiar with the achievements and potential of mathematics and science. The Visiting Lecturer Program is presented for the benefit of undergraduates and graduate students at all levels by exposing them to new areas and problems. The visitors are experienced speakers who, in addition to their accomplishments in applied mathematics, have been recommended for their commitment to education and their ability to reach students. Most of the VLP topics can be adapted to different audiences.

While a talk will provide the focal point of a visit, a lecturer can also support applied mathematics on campus in other ways. Students with particular interest and ability in mathematics may have questions about advanced study or professional careers in the field. Faculty members may wish to talk about matters of curriculum, trends, or new technologies with the visitors, who are often well versed on issues that affect mathematics today. The host institution should facilitate such exchanges by providing opportunity for students and faculty to meet informally with the visitor.

An honorarium for the speaker is not required. However, the host department is responsible for making arrangements directly with the visitor, publicizing the VLP lecture and related events, acting as host throughout the visit, promptly reimbursing travel expenses, and providing a short evaluation to SIAM. If travel costs are especially large, a host is encouraged to coordinate with nearby institutions to share a visitor's expenses.

We are grateful to the accomplished applied mathematicians who have enthusiastically volunteered to serve as Visiting Lecturers. We hope you will welcome them to your campus.

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