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From SIAM News Blog: SIAM's Response to the International Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Last updated Wednesday, March 4, 2020

SIAM leadership and senior staff have been closely monitoring the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the associated disease COVID-19. We are deeply committed to the health and well-being of our members and the general public, and to finding an appropriate compromise between containment of the novel coronavirus and our important mission of advancing industrial and applied mathematics.

This blog entry will be updated regularly as we learn new information relevant to attendees of SIAM conferences. We will base all decisions on the latest science and predictions provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. We also encourage all conference attendees to consult the above websites for a list of best practices on avoiding contraction of the novel coronavirus. Until further notice, SIAM will take all recommended onsite precautions at conferences, including the provision of hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, etc

Status of 2020 SIAM Conferences

As of today, all SIAM conferences worldwide are proceeding as scheduled with the exception of the 2020 SIAM Conference on Optimization (OP20), originally scheduled to take place May 26-29 in Hong Kong, which has been cancelled. Although SIAM is open to the possibility of rescheduling OP20 should the virus run its course in the coming months, no such plan is currently in place.

SIAM's Commitment to Timely Updates

The speed with which the novel coronavirus appears to spread makes prediction of its progress very difficult. Nevertheless, for each upcoming conference, SIAM will strive to either cancel the conference or commit to holding the conference as scheduled no later than two weeks prior to the first day of the conference.

SIAM Policy on Travel Expenses in the Event a Conference is Cancelled

In the event of cancellation of any SIAM conference, SIAM will reimburse registration fees to the extent possible. SIAM will work with the conference hotel to limit any losses incurred by registrants staying for fewer nights than those to which they have committed. Unfortunately, SIAM is not able to assist with airline reservations or with hotels that are not official conference hotels. Registrants are encouraged to contact the provider directly in these cases.

Please direct any questions or concerns to Jim Crowley, SIAM Executive Director, at jcrowley@siam.org.

Organizing Committee Co-Chairs

Tamás Terlaky, Lehigh University, USA
Defeng Sun, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Organizing Committee Members

Xiaodong Hu, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Adil Bagirov, Federation University, Australia
Akiko Yoshise, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Peter Richtarik, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
Gabriele Eichfelder, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany
Fabio Schoen, University of Florence, Italy
Jean Bernard Lasserre, LAAS/CNRS, France
Henry Wolkowicz, University of Waterloo, Canada
Uday Shanbhag, Penn State University, USA
Genetha Gray, Salesforce, USA
Pietro Belotti, FICO, UK

Local Organizing Committee

Xiaojun Chen (Co-chair), PolyU
Defeng Sun (Co-chair), PolyU
Chuanying Dang, City University of Hong Kong
Ting Kei Pong, PolyU
Anthony Man-cho So, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Xiaoqi Yang, PolyU 
Xiaoming Yuan, Hong Kong University
Man-Chung Yue, PolyU
Zaikun Zhang, PolyU

Plenary Speakers

Amir Ali Ahmadi, Princeton University, USA

Donald Goldfarb, Columbia University, USA

Didier Henrion, University of Toulouse, France

Michael Hinze, University of Koblenz · Landau, Germany

Satoru Iwata, University of Tokyo, Japan

Ivana Ljubic, ESSEC Business School, France

R. Tyrrell Rockafellar, University of Washington, USA

Margaret Wiecek, Clemson University, USA


I. Quantum Computing and Optimization, Speaker: Giacomo Nannicini, IBM, USA

II. AI, Machine Learning and Optimization, Speakers: Lin Xiao, Microsoft Research, USA; Lihong Li, Google Inc., USA


The SIAM Conference on Optimization will feature the latest research on the theory, algorithms, software, and applications of optimization. A particular emphasis will be put on applications of optimization in AI and data science, quantum computing, health care, finance, aeronautics, control, operations research, and other areas of science and engineering. The conference brings together mathematicians, operations researchers, computer and computational scientists, engineers, software developers and practitioners, thus providing an ideal environment to share new ideas and important problems among specialists and users of optimization in academia, government, and industry.


  • Applications in Health Care
  • Applications in Energy Networks and Renewable Resources
  • Applications in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
  • Combinatorial and Mixed Integer Nonlinear Optimization
  • Conic Linear Optimization
  • Derivative-free Optimization
  • Discrete and Combinatorial Optimization
  • Equilibrium Programming
  • Graphs and Networks
  • Nonlinear Optimization
  • Optimization in Engineering
  • PDE Based Optimization
  • Polynomial and SoS Optimization
  • Stochastic and Robust Optimization

Important Deadlines

Submission deadlines:

January 5, 2020: Minisymposium Proposal Submissions.

February 16, 2020: Contributed Lecture, Poster, and Minisymposium Presentation Abstracts.

Travel fund application deadline:

December 12, 2019: SIAM Student Travel Award and Post-doc/Early Career Travel Award Applications.

Pre-registration deadline:

March 10, 2020.

Hotel reservation deadline:

See the Hotel Information page.