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The State of the Planet: how mathematics can help

Math Institutes Modern Mathematics Workshop October 08, 2008 - October 09, 2008

October 09, 2008 (09:00 AM PDT - 12:00 PM PDT)
Speaker(s): Mary Lou Zeeman (Bowdoin College)
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Abstract The mathematical community offers a wealth of largely untapped resources for addressing problems related to the state of our planet. For example, climate change research is full of mathematical challenges, ranging from continuous and stochastic dynamical systems, to inverse problems, data assimilation, efficient numerical numerical methods, quantifying uncertainty, and more. Global sustainability and resource management questions raise new classes of problems at the interface of mathematics, economics and computer science. Spread of disease and ecosystem preservation both take on new dynamic spatial components as species move poleward. Insight into tipping points can be provided by the language of bifurcation theory. This mini-course will describe how mathematics can play a role in understanding and addressing challenges faced by our planet. The mini-course is aimed at the undergraduate level and is open to all students regardless of their majors.
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