Special Lecture - Mathematics: The Foundation of Impactful and Exciting Careers



Mathematics: The Foundation of Impactful and Exciting Careers

Lois Curfman McInnes Senior Computational Scientist

Mathematics and Computer Science Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday October 10, 2019

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM TALK: SEH B1220 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Reception: SEH B1167


Mathematical careers outside of academia rarely carry a simple title of “mathematician.” The very idea of a career in mathematics has evolved and diversified and is often coupled with a specialty or area of research interest. Mathematics plays a major role in the bottom line of industrial organizations, and helps companies perform better in today’s data-driven marketplace. A career in applied mathematics focuses on using mathematics to solve real- life problems and make an impact in the world. Mathematics-based advanced computing has become a prevalent means of discovery and innovation in essentially all areas of science, engineering, technology, and society. Advances in mathematics have led to more efficient aircraft, safer cars, higher-density transistors, more compact electronic devices, more powerful chemical and biological process systems, cleaner power plants, higher-resolution medical imaging devices, and more accurate geophysical exploration technologies – to name just a few. This presentation will highlight various careers in applied mathematics and computational science (a field that combines mathematics and statistics, computer science, and domain-specific science and engineering, along with data analytics and machine learning). I will also discuss my educational path (BS in math and physics, PhD in applied mathematics) and my work on high-performance numerical algorithms and software, with emphasis on research at national laboratories on large-scale computational science.


Lois Curfman McInnes is a senior computational scientist in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory. Her research focuses on scalable numerical algorithms in the PETSc library, as well as community collaboration toward productive and sustainable software ecosystems for extreme-scale computational science in the xSDK and IDEAS projects. Lois coordinates work on mathematical libraries in the U.S. DOE Exascale Computing Project. She is a SIAM Fellow. She received the 2015 SIAM/ACM Prize in CSE and an R&D 100 Award in 2009 (with collaborators); she won an E.O. Lawrence Award in 2011 for outstanding contributions to DOE. She received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from Muhlenberg College. She served as chair (2015-16) and program director (2013-14) of the SIAM Activity Group on Computational Science and Engineering; she currently serves on SIAM Council, the SIAM Education Committee, and the editorial board of SIAM News.

Sponsored by

The GW Department of Mathematics, The GW Student Chapter of SIAM, The GW Chapter of the Association of Women in Mathematics, The GW Math and Stat Association and The GW Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon.