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Mathematicians tackle global issues
Date:12/6/2012

at the University of Montreal. "This broad initiative seeks to involve some of the world's finest minds to solve some of the world's toughest problems," said Brian Conrey, leader of MPE2013 in the United States and Director of the American Institute of Mathematics.

Examples of recent applications of mathematics to MPE problems include:

  • improved strategies for recharging underground aquifers;
  • a better model for how government and industry can work together to decrease pollution;
  • successful modeling of the transmission of epidemic diseases allowing the design of strategies to control or eradicate them; and
  • developing a greater theoretical understanding of viruses and the drugs necessary to tackle them.

Long-term problems in which mathematics will play a role include:

  • quantifying uncertainty in climate change;
  • more accurate predictions of natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis;
  • the adaptation of ecosystems to climate change;
  • sustainable economic models; and
  • the preservation of biodiversity.

According to Mary Lou Zeeman, co-director of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, "Mathematical modeling has given us a better understanding of how to combat infectious diseases. We can evaluate the percentage of the population that must be vaccinated to eradicate a disease and we can measure the impact of education and other interventions on the spread of a disease."

"Achieving sustainability requires understanding the complex interactions between a vast number of systems including climate, economics, technological progress, geology, ecology, space science, population control, security, global politics, and mass psychology," says Doyne Farmer, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Complexity at the University of Oxford. "Sustainability forces us to think clearly about our vision of the future, putting philosophy into direct conta
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Contact: Christiane Rousseau
rousseac@dms.umontreal.ca
514-915-6081
American Institute of Mathematics
Source:Eurekalert

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