From whiteboard to the journal editorial board

Story by Amy Turner, Staff writer

Photo by Mackenzie O’Donley/The News

After pursuing a lifetime of studying math, Kelly Pearson, professor of mathematics, has been invited to serve on the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal Editorial Board.

According to its website, the SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications “contains research articles in matrix analysis and its applications and papers of interest to the numerical linear algebra community. Applications include such areas as signal processing, systems and control theory, statistics, Markov chains, and mathematical biology. Also contains papers that are of a theoretical nature but have a possible impact on applications.”

The journal is considered a premier research journal by mathematical scholars. The position was not one that Pearson applied for but was one that she was invited to serve in for her mathematical achievements.

After moving from Oregon to Murray, Pearson became a professor of mathematics at the university where she has continued to study it for 19 years.  

She got interested in mathematics because of the interesting teachers she had early on in her life.

“When I was about 14, I had an excellent high school teacher,” Pearson said. “He had worked with NASA and came back into the classroom. I really liked him and how he presented the material and made it exciting.”

Pearson specifically studies tensor analysis.

“Something most students are familiar with are ranking algorithms like college football teams and how they rank them,” Pearson said. “A lot of that can be done with linear algebra. What I am looking at is not so much linear but multilinear, so maybe adding a degree of difficulty to that.”  

Starting Jan. 1, Pearson will assume her role on the editorial board.

“I will be in charge of taking papers that people want to publish in this journal and sending them out to referees,” Pearson said. “And then if it is recommended for publication, I will work with the author to get it into shape and publishing it.”

After being invited to serve on the board, Pearson said that she felt really nervous.

“I’ve never been on an editorial board before so it was really shocking to get an invitation from a top-notch journal.” Pearson said. “It wasn’t something I had applied for, and they said that they wanted me and it had already been approved at the highest level.”

Moving forward, Pearson is excited to see what people will do with matrix analysis and to help people improve their work.

“It is a pretty exciting area that I am in, it is very new and there is a lot of information coming out on it.” Pearson said.

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