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Mathematics for sustainability

I seem to have hijacked John (B)'s thread on "The mathematics of planet earth", sorry. I'm making this new thread for my "Mathematics of Sustainability" course, so that the "Mathematics of Planet Earth" thread can return to its original purpose.

Here is what I originally posted in that thread: The blog post below describes the beginnings of my work on developing a similar course at the “gen ed undergraduate mathematics” level. I would really welcome suggestions, comments, critique - either via blog comment, or her, or email me ( john dot roe at psu dot edu)…

http://points-of-inflection.blogspot.com/2012/10/mathematics-for-sustainability-1.html

Here is the next post in the series - beginning to flesh out the course ideas

http://points-of-inflection.blogspot.com/2012/10/mathematics-for-sustainability-2.html

Comments

  • 1.

    Here's an example of why we need education in math for sustainability

    http://points-of-inflection.blogspot.com/2012/10/first-law-of-thermodynamics-dammit.html

    Comment Source:Here's an example of why we need education in math for sustainability [http://points-of-inflection.blogspot.com/2012/10/first-law-of-thermodynamics-dammit.html](http://points-of-inflection.blogspot.com/2012/10/first-law-of-thermodynamics-dammit.html)
  • 2.

    I'm sort of submerged under work - grant proposals, teaching, and so on - so I don't have the extra energy it takes to really engage with your ideas right now, even though I really want to.

    Here is something easier I could do. I could repost your blog articles as 'guest posts' on Azimuth, with links back to your blog. Would you like that? I think it's good to share these ideas with as many people as possible.

    Comment Source:I'm sort of submerged under work - grant proposals, teaching, and so on - so I don't have the extra energy it takes to really engage with your ideas right now, even though I really want to. Here is something easier I could do. I could repost your blog articles as 'guest posts' on Azimuth, with links back to your blog. Would you like that? I think it's good to share these ideas with as many people as possible.
  • 3.

    You'd be welcome to do that, John. I hope to write some more posts about the course fairly soon. (There's quite a mixture of topics on my blog, I had better start tagging things properly :-)

    Comment Source:You'd be welcome to do that, John. I hope to write some more posts about the course fairly soon. (There's quite a mixture of topics on my blog, I had better start tagging things properly :-)
  • 4.
    edited October 2012

    Okay, I'll try to format one as a guest post now. I'm in deep procrastination mode, where I'll do anything, no matter how useful, to avoid what I should be doing!

    Do you write your blog articles in HTML? If so, you could send Math for Sustainability I and II to baez@math.ucr.edu. Otherwise I can turn them into HTML pretty easily. Maybe I'll do one right now!

    Comment Source:Okay, I'll try to format one as a guest post now. I'm in deep procrastination mode, where I'll do anything, no matter how useful, to avoid what I _should_ be doing! Do you write your blog articles in HTML? If so, you could send Math for Sustainability I and II to baez@math.ucr.edu. Otherwise I can turn them into HTML pretty easily. Maybe I'll do one right now!
  • 5.
    edited October 2012

    Okay, here's part 1:

    • John Roe, Mathematics for Sustainability (Part 1), Azimuth, 21 October 2012.

    Comment Source:Okay, here's part 1: • John Roe, [Mathematics for Sustainability (Part 1)](http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/mathematics-for-sustainability-part-1), _Azimuth_, 21 October 2012.
  • 6.

    Thanks for the shout-out, John. I'll send you HTML for part 2.

    Comment Source:Thanks for the shout-out, John. I'll send you HTML for part 2.
  • 7.

    I've posted a couple more in this series since then, but now here is a reasonably complete "course description", written in the kind of language that many of us will recognize from course catalogs and similarly thrilling documents. Comments are very much welcome.

    http://points-of-inflection.blogspot.com/2013/02/math-for-sustainability-course.html

    Comment Source:I've posted a couple more in this series since then, but now here is a reasonably complete "course description", written in the kind of language that many of us will recognize from course catalogs and similarly thrilling documents. Comments are very much welcome. [http://points-of-inflection.blogspot.com/2013/02/math-for-sustainability-course.html](http://points-of-inflection.blogspot.com/2013/02/math-for-sustainability-course.html)
  • 8.
    I'm interested in the mathematics and statistics of products, usage, disposal, waste, recycling, and diversion. I don't have any documents written at the moment, but I am working on a reconstruction (an inverse model, really) of sources contributing to the waste and recycling stream for the Town of Westwood, MA. This is a blind source separation problem, and techniques for such problems are sometimes used to identify point sources of pollution on streams.

    I am a Selectmen-appointed member of Westwood's Environmental Action Committee ("WEAC"). I have access to time series of waste tonnage collected among several routes through town. I may be getting detailed information on waste and recycling bins allocated by address, and these may be auxiliary variables which can constrain waste generation by route.

    The objective of this is to make estimates of posterior of spatial waste generation rates over the Town routes, as precisely as feasible, with credible intervals in time and space for the estimates.

    Presumably there will be a seasonal component to the behavior, and that is interesting as well.

    Outside of WEAC, also have interest in recycling of organics at industrial scales.
    Comment Source:I'm interested in the mathematics and statistics of products, usage, disposal, waste, recycling, and diversion. I don't have any documents written at the moment, but I am working on a reconstruction (an inverse model, really) of sources contributing to the waste and recycling stream for the Town of Westwood, MA. This is a blind source separation problem, and techniques for such problems are sometimes used to identify point sources of pollution on streams. I am a Selectmen-appointed member of Westwood's Environmental Action Committee ("WEAC"). I have access to time series of waste tonnage collected among several routes through town. I may be getting detailed information on waste and recycling bins allocated by address, and these may be auxiliary variables which can constrain waste generation by route. The objective of this is to make estimates of posterior of spatial waste generation rates over the Town routes, as precisely as feasible, with credible intervals in time and space for the estimates. Presumably there will be a seasonal component to the behavior, and that is interesting as well. Outside of WEAC, also have interest in recycling of organics at industrial scales.
  • 9.

    That sounds interesting, Jan Galkowski. If you ever want to write something about it, consider writing something we could put on the Azimuth Blog. I can imagine people wondering:

    • how does the math and statistics help you address practical problems that people actually want to solve?

    • what math and statistics do you wind up using?

    • will someone change their behavior based on what you find?

    and so on.

    Comment Source:That sounds interesting, Jan Galkowski. If you ever want to write something about it, consider writing something we could put on the Azimuth Blog. I can imagine people wondering: * how does the math and statistics help you address practical problems that people actually want to solve? * what math and statistics do you wind up using? * will someone change their behavior based on what you find? and so on.
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