From September 19-21, the Berlin SIAM student chapter hosted the Meeting of the European SIAM and GAMM student chapters (MESIGA18). After the meetings in Trier (2012), Heidelberg (2013), Magdeburg (2014), Trier (2015), Hamburg (2016), and Prague (2017), this is the sixth consecutive meeting of German and European chapters that featured representatives of 9 student chapters. We were happy to welcome all existing GAMM chapters (Augsburg, Chemnitz, and Hamburg) in Berlin, as well as the chapters from Delft and Prague from outside of Germany. The only missing German SIAM chapter – the chapter of Trier – sent greetings and apologies since most of their active members were focusing on their dissertations.
The central theme of the meeting is to connect the members of the different chapters, which is traditionally based on scientific lectures and the social program. In terms of the scientific program, all participants were asked to start with a low-level introduction into the problem setting, which fostered extensive discussions over the topics during the coffee breaks. The topics ranged from topics in numerical linear algebra and large-scale problems, over parameter optimization and homogenization theory to control theory.
In addition to the scientific talks, all chapters introduced themselves and some of their most successful activities throughout the last years. As a nice outcome of these presentations, the chapter representatives discussed strategies to encourage active participation in the chapters.
The keynote lecture with the title Of Puzzles and Riddles was given by Jesko Hüttenhain, a security researcher at CrowdStrike. In his talk, he illustrated in detail his typical workflow and the everyday challenges he is presented with as a malware reverse engineer, putting a particular emphasis on the similarities between mathematics and his job. The many following-up questions from the audience clearly showed the appreciation for this wonderful lecture. We concluded this day by visiting the so-called c-base, a bar for hackers and computer enthusiast. The guided tour through the space station underneath the bar offered a unique view into a different and fascination world.
The social program was completed by a short hiking trip to the Teufelsberg, a women-made hill in a nearby forest, and the conference dinner. The Teufelsberg was used by the US-Army as a listening station and the ruins are nowadays open for excursions. We thank all the organizers and all the participants that helped to make this conference very successful and we are looking forward to the meeting next year.
Report by the Hamburg SIAM student chapter