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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have initiated a project on “Illustrating the Impact of the Mathematical Sciences“, in which various media will be produced to showcase how mathematics impacts the modern world. (I am serving on the committee for creating this media, which has been an interesting experience; the first time for instance that I have had to seriously interact with graphic designers.) One of the first products is a “webinar” series on the ten topics our committee have chosen to focus on, that is currently running weekly on Tuesdays. Last week I moderated the first such webinar, titled “From Solving to Seeing”, in which Profs. Gunther Uhlmann and Anna Gilbert presented ways in which inverse problems, compressed sensing, and other modern mathematical techniques have been used to obtain images (such as MRI images) that would not otherwise be accessible. Next week I will moderate another webinar, titled “Abstract Geometry, Concrete Impact”, in which Profs. Katherine Stange and Jordan Ellenberg will discuss how modern abstract geometries are used in modern applications such as cryptography. The full list of webinars and the latest information on the speakers can be found at this website. (Past webinars can be viewed directly from the web site; live webinars require a (free) registration, and offer the ability to submit text questions to the speakers via the moderator.)

We are currently in the process of designing posters (and possibly even a more interactive online resource) for each of the ten topics listed in the webinars; hopefully these will be available in a few months.

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