People don't usually think of mathematics as an occupation that requires survival skills, but they might change their minds if they saw Kenneth Golden and his daring research team in action! The mathematician has spent the past 40 years studying sea ice in the north and south Polar Regions. He and his team at the University of Utah are developing mathematical formulas to help scientists make more accurate predictions about how quickly sea ice will melt as our planet continues to warm. Find out more in this Science Nation video.
Credit: Science Nation, National Science Foundation
Earthen, volcanic and snowy materials--all of which can move quickly downhill--do so at varying rates depending on their composition, the composition of the geological features over which they flow, and the weather. NSF-funded mathematician E. Bruce Pitman, from the University of Buffalo, has been modeling the dynamics of flowing granular materials since 2001 when engineering and geology colleagues came together to start estimating volcanic flow. Find out more in this discovery.
Credit: Jonathan Godt, USGS
The Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) of the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences supports a wide range of projects aimed at developing and exploring the properties and applications of mathematical structures. Most of these projects are those awarded to single investigators or small groups of investigators working with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Programs such as Mathematical Sciences Infrastructure handle activities that fall outside this mode.
July 14, 2014
Strawberry fields forever -- with some help from mathematicians!
California berry growers and mathematicians team up for water conservation, and more
The Pajaro Valley in California's Monterey Bay area is ideally suited for agriculture. In fact, the Pajaro Valley and the nearby Salinas Valley produce nearly half of the strawberries grown in the United States yearly. But, the water source for the valley is a confined underground aquifer that is slowly being depleted.
How can mathematics help solve this problem? In January 2011, the American Institute of Mathematics held a Sustainability Problems workshop with the goal of bringing together mathematicians and industry representatives to work on a variety of sustainability problems, including renewable energy, air quality, water management and other environmental issues.
During the week of the workshop and with follow-up activity, a team headed by mathematicians Kathleen Fowler and Lea Jenkins has made significant progress in the creation of a virtual farm model to study alternative crop management strategies and their effect on water usage and profit. The team also investigated a surface water analysis to understand feasible ways to capture rainfall for re-infiltration (or recharging) into the aquifer.
The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1128242, American Institute of Mathematics Research Conference Center: A Model for Collaborative Research.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.