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I've started a new page Plans of action which will list plans of action that people have proposed to deal with global warming and other big enviromental issues. These should be detailed plans, scenarios or projections, not just "ideas".

The idea is that many items on this list should eventually become pages of their own, where we summarize the plans, critiques of these plans, etc..

I'm starting a new category action for these pages... and now I'll start making these pages.

## Comments

I'll add an item on my TODO list to write about the plans of the German government that I boasted about. Gee, I hope they have some written material in English.

I'm currently thinking, on a very rough level, about working on a CFD/climate toy model in a popular programming language that runs everywhere, like Java. Both as a possible tool for classes on climate modelling, and as a "download and run it yourself" climate model for interested people. Of course this is

way too muchwork for a single person, even if he could afford to work on it fulltime (which he can't :-).But my question here is simply: Would that kind of project fit on the "Plans of action" page?

`I'll add an item on my TODO list to write about the plans of the German government that I boasted about. Gee, I hope they have some written material in English. I'm currently thinking, on a very rough level, about working on a CFD/climate toy model in a popular programming language that runs everywhere, like Java. Both as a possible tool for classes on climate modelling, and as a "download and run it yourself" climate model for interested people. Of course this is <i>way too much</i> work for a single person, even if he could afford to work on it fulltime (which he can't :-). But my question here is simply: Would that kind of project fit on the "Plans of action" page?`

I've been using "Plans of action" to mean strategies for the entire world, or individual countries, to combat global warming (or solve other environmental problems, but I haven't looked into those yet).

The German plan for moving towards sustainable energy would fit well on this page. Your personal plan to write a climate toy model (or get a group to do it) is a bit different. But don't worry: put it on there in a separate section, and I'll sort out the organizational issues later!

Or maybe start a page called "Projects", or "Climate models", or... whatever. Just let us know.

You might start by looking at the online model that Nathan recommended in week304! I believe there are some others available online. I think Nathan even wrote a few.

The simplest "box models" are

notvery complicated: even I could program them. And they're still illuminating.`I've been using "Plans of action" to mean strategies for the entire world, or individual countries, to combat global warming (or solve other environmental problems, but I haven't looked into those yet). The German plan for moving towards sustainable energy would fit well on this page. Your personal plan to write a climate toy model (or get a group to do it) is a bit different. But don't worry: put it on there in a separate section, and I'll sort out the organizational issues later! Or maybe start a page called "Projects", or "Climate models", or... whatever. Just let us know. You might start by looking at the online model that Nathan recommended in <a href = "http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/week304.html">week304</a>! I believe there are some others available online. I think Nathan even wrote a few. The simplest "box models" are _not_ very complicated: even I could program them. And they're still illuminating.`

Ok, maybe I'll start someday with writing about climate models, then about implementation issues, computational fluid dynamics, and then...

The "scientific content" is one aspect, the other aspect is that a programming language like Java eases the readability and comprehensibleness of a program a lot, a lot of people (everyone who is after a master in computer science) have to learn Java anyway (unlike Fortran), and it runs on almost any hardware, thanks to it's virtual machines. At the expense of performance one could create a model that is intelligible to a lot of people and allows for very simple and efficient solutions to any "software engineering" problems.

But, well, all of this is just a dream. Who knows...

`<blockquote> <p> Or maybe start a page called "Projects", or "Climate models", or... whatever. Just let us know. </p> </blockquote> Ok, maybe I'll start someday with writing about climate models, then about implementation issues, computational fluid dynamics, and then... <blockquote> <p> The simplest "box models" are not very complicated: even I could program them. And they're still illuminating. </p> </blockquote> The "scientific content" is one aspect, the other aspect is that a programming language like Java eases the readability and comprehensibleness of a program a lot, a lot of people (everyone who is after a master in computer science) have to learn Java anyway (unlike Fortran), and it runs on almost any hardware, thanks to it's virtual machines. At the expense of performance one could create a model that is intelligible to a lot of people and allows for very simple and efficient solutions to any "software engineering" problems. But, well, all of this is just a dream. Who knows...`

Going off into the programming language territory, if you want to write reasonably high level, portable model code without worrying about significant loss of performance you can already write in MATLAB. As with Fortran, the decisions that make it ... awkward ... for a programming on things like trees or lists are the same ones that make it much more concise for programming making heavy use of arrays.

`Going off into the programming language territory, if you want to write reasonably high level, portable model code without worrying about significant loss of performance you can already write in MATLAB. As with Fortran, the decisions that make it ... awkward ... for a programming on things like trees or lists are the same ones that make it much more concise for programming making heavy use of arrays.`

That was a suggestion I got over at mathoverflow too. I've been thinking about this for a while:

MATLAB is not open source, so I'd rather take GNU Octave instead.

MATLAB it is a product known in the math/physics community, mainly. I don't expect e.g. people in computer science to show any interest in it.

Java has been the main "solution stack" to custom enterprise software for a decade now, C++ (and C, of course), are

dead. But everyone interested in a career in software engineering needs to learn and master Java.Java has a big open source community, you'll find well designed and tested solutions to almost any problems you come up with - with the notable exception of numerical code :-)

Examples:

etc.

`<blockquote> <p> ... if you want to write reasonably high level, portable model code without worrying about significant loss of performance you can already write in MATLAB. </p> </blockquote> That was a suggestion I got over at <a href="http://mathoverflow.net/questions/41994/basic-software-libraries-for-numerical-analysis-using-modern-programming-language">mathoverflow</a> too. I've been thinking about this for a while: - MATLAB is not open source, so I'd rather take GNU Octave instead. - MATLAB it is a product known in the math/physics community, mainly. I don't expect e.g. people in computer science to show any interest in it. - Java has been the main "solution stack" to custom enterprise software for a decade now, C++ (and C, of course), are <i>dead</i>. But everyone interested in a career in software engineering needs to learn and master Java. - Java has a big open source community, you'll find well designed and tested solutions to almost any problems you come up with - with the notable exception of numerical code :-) Examples: - IDE (eclipse, NetBeans) - build tools (ant, maven) - configuration management tools and support of those in your favorite IDE (SVN) - (remote) debugging, profiling, monitoring - access to all possible data bases and file servers, persistence and transaction handling frameworks (Hibernate) - logging, exception handling, aspect oriented programming, - code checking utilities (Firebug, Checkstyle) - documentation utilities (JavaDoc) - support for import and export of all possible data formats (FOP for PDF, SVG, XML and XSLT), - support for all kinds of visualization and reporting (BIRT), etc.`

Addendum: C++ and Java are too different to be converted automatically, unfortunately. And until recently Java lacked essential features needed to even think about a conversion.

But with the introduction of generics in Java 5 and the proposed introduction of closures in Java 7 (not released yet), I'm confident that Java is close enough to model both templates, operator overloading and function pointers of C++.

We'll see :-)

`Addendum: C++ and Java are too different to be converted automatically, unfortunately. And until recently Java lacked essential features needed to even think about a conversion. But with the introduction of generics in Java 5 and the proposed introduction of closures in Java 7 (not released yet), I'm confident that Java is close enough to model both templates, operator overloading and function pointers of C++. We'll see :-)`

Here's my opinion (not trying to stop you doing anything):

I'll leave the individual language wars alone (I've never written a program in Java because the overhead has always been way too high for my kind of numercial coding, so it's perfectly possible not to know Java). The key point that I was making was that, in my experience, the kinds of things that the semantics of Java are very good for are poor for that kind of numerical code. I imagine that the "understanding difficulties" that people complain about with climate models are at a much higher level than the low-level structuring that you'll get from Java, in particular being able to keep track of what mathematical operations are being performed, how the

datainteracts between modules, and probably most importantly how high level features in the output arise from the huge amounts of data. I don't think anyone has a good answer to the last question other than "grad students": it was the long hours of trial and error trying to determine which parts of MB of models and GBs of data were "most responsible" for a given output failure that was the worst bit of my academic work. The sheer volume of data renders most of the monitoring techniques impotent.I'm sure that writing some numerical foundations in Java will be an interesting and fun project, but I also expect it to be very time consuming (particularly if you've got limited experience of "user" so you don't know which subtle features are really, really useful in practice). I'm also unsure whether simply having a model in the language Java will particularly address any of the concerns and criticisms raised about climate models. Starting with some language that has base semantics designed for numerical code, whether it's MATLAB/OCTAVE, SaC, or some other alternative, adds an initial learning time for the "reader" but it saves you a lot of time building foundations that aren't really at issue, letting you spend more time on teh controversial issues.

`Here's my opinion (not trying to stop you doing anything): I'll leave the individual language wars alone (I've never written a program in Java because the overhead has always been way too high for my kind of numercial coding, so it's perfectly possible not to know Java). The key point that I was making was that, in my experience, the kinds of things that the semantics of Java are very good for are poor for that kind of numerical code. I imagine that the "understanding difficulties" that people complain about with climate models are at a much higher level than the low-level structuring that you'll get from Java, in particular being able to keep track of what mathematical operations are being performed, how the **data** interacts between modules, and probably most importantly how high level features in the output arise from the huge amounts of data. I don't think anyone has a good answer to the last question other than "grad students": it was the long hours of trial and error trying to determine which parts of MB of models and GBs of data were "most responsible" for a given output failure that was the worst bit of my academic work. The sheer volume of data renders most of the monitoring techniques impotent. I'm sure that writing some numerical foundations in Java will be an interesting and fun project, but I also expect it to be very time consuming (particularly if you've got limited experience of "user" so you don't know which subtle features are really, really useful in practice). I'm also unsure whether simply having a model in the language Java will particularly address any of the concerns and criticisms raised about climate models. Starting with some language that has base semantics designed for numerical code, whether it's MATLAB/OCTAVE, SaC, or some other alternative, adds an initial learning time for the "reader" but it saves you a lot of time building foundations that aren't really at issue, letting you spend more time on teh controversial issues.`

These are all very good points...

Yes, definetely. But I don't see any way out of this - I can't join an academic group working on climate models. But you're absolutely correct, that's one reason why I don't expect any kind breakthrough with the kind of project I'm thinking about.

I hope I did not start a war - at least I did not intend to. No one designing a

business or internet applicationwould think about C++ today, that is a fact. On the other hand Java did not become the most prominent tool for business applications because it is the best language for that purpose, far from that. I remember a talk of Niclas Wirth ten years ago, he complained that the "stupid industry" did not endorse Oberon instead of Java. Well, he was right, I guess. But that's the way it is.`These are all very good points... <blockquote> <p> ...articularly if you've got limited experience of "user" so you don't know which subtle features are really, really useful in practice. </p> </blockquote> Yes, definetely. But I don't see any way out of this - I can't join an academic group working on climate models. But you're absolutely correct, that's one reason why I don't expect any kind breakthrough with the kind of project I'm thinking about. <blockquote> <p> I'll leave the individual language wars alone... </p> </blockquote> I hope I did not start a war - at least I did not intend to. No one designing a <i>business or internet application</i> would think about C++ today, that is a fact. On the other hand Java did not become the most prominent tool for business applications because it is the best language for that purpose, far from that. I remember a talk of Niclas Wirth ten years ago, he complained that the "stupid industry" did not endorse Oberon instead of Java. Well, he was right, I guess. But that's the way it is.`

sourceforge lists some climate science projects.

`[sourceforge](http://sourceforge.net/search/?q=climate) lists some climate science projects.`

Tim wrote:

Well, if I started one, you could. When I get back to UC Riverside I'm going to start developing "green mathematics" courses.

Maybesome of these should involve climate modelling — I'm not sure if that's a good idea. I don't want to get into competing with the experts, but it might be good for students to play with their own climate models, or play with pre-existing ones.You're talking a lot about programming languages but not much about the kind of models you might like to program. If we're talking about simple "box models" like the one Nathan Urban described in week304, it would be nice to program these models in way where one could

seethe boxes and see the flows of heat from box to box. I think there are programming languages (used by process control engineers?) that make it easy to build models of this sort by grabbing pictures of boxes, adjusting their properties, and sticking them together."Seeing is believing".

`Tim wrote: >I can't join an academic group working on climate models. Well, if I started one, you could. When I get back to UC Riverside I'm going to start developing "green mathematics" courses. <i>Maybe</i> some of these should involve climate modelling — I'm not sure if that's a good idea. I don't want to get into competing with the experts, but it might be good for students to play with their own climate models, or play with pre-existing ones. You're talking a lot about programming languages but not much about the kind of models you might like to program. If we're talking about simple "box models" like the one Nathan Urban described in [week304](http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/week304.html), it would be nice to program these models in way where one could _see_ the boxes and see the flows of heat from box to box. I think there are programming languages (used by process control engineers?) that make it easy to build models of this sort by grabbing pictures of boxes, adjusting their properties, and sticking them together. "Seeing is believing".`

In terms of languages, I'm a huge fan of Matlab. Building and prototyping models is very quick and the data visualization is integrated nicely with the code.

However, if you want something more graphical, i.e. you can draw the program and see the flow of information, then I had very good experiences with LabVIEW.

`In terms of languages, I'm a huge fan of Matlab. Building and prototyping models is very quick and the data visualization is integrated nicely with the code. However, if you want something more graphical, i.e. you can draw the program and see the flow of information, then I had very good experiences with [LabVIEW](http://www.ni.com/labview/whatis/graphical-programming/).`

I wrote:

John answered:

That's a nice idea! What would green mathematics be about? But regarding me joining an academic group: The reason why I won't do it is because I can make a living working as a software engineer - and I need a convincing CV to get jobs. Working in academia on climate science for a couple of years would drastically reduce my chances on the job market :-) Plus I think I'm too old for a career change.

...because I think about a framework that would allow the programming of all possible kinds of climate models. The problem is to find an approach that is extensible and scalable. There are graphical "plug&play programming languages" of the kind you mention, the problem with those is that they are not extensible, you may find that you get results very fast, but that you'll never be able to extend your models in the ways you would like to. It is possible to program a toy model with Excel, for example, very fast - but you'll never be able to run your model on several CPUs (parallel programming) or to handle more data than fit into RAM. If you need to do either, you'll have to drop your model entirely and start anew, from scratch. All of this is of no concern if you are an academic working on a specific problem, of course: Especially people working on their PhD-thesis usually concentrate on a quick and dirty solution to the specific problem they are working on, and as soon as they get their PhD their code is deleted and never thought of again :-) Well, at least that's my impression.

`I wrote: <blockquote> <p> I can't join an academic group working on climate models. </p> </blockquote> John answered: <blockquote> <p> Well, if I started one, you could. When I get back to UC Riverside I'm going to start developing "green mathematics" courses. </p> </blockquote> That's a nice idea! What would green mathematics be about? But regarding me joining an academic group: The reason why I won't do it is because I can make a living working as a software engineer - and I need a convincing CV to get jobs. Working in academia on climate science for a couple of years would drastically reduce my chances on the job market :-) Plus I think I'm too old for a career change. <blockquote> <p> You're talking a lot about programming languages but not much about the kind of models you might like to program. </p> </blockquote> ...because I think about a framework that would allow the programming of all possible kinds of climate models. The problem is to find an approach that is extensible and scalable. There are graphical "plug&play programming languages" of the kind you mention, the problem with those is that they are not extensible, you may find that you get results very fast, but that you'll never be able to extend your models in the ways you would like to. It is possible to program a toy model with Excel, for example, very fast - but you'll never be able to run your model on several CPUs (parallel programming) or to handle more data than fit into RAM. If you need to do either, you'll have to drop your model entirely and start anew, from scratch. All of this is of no concern if you are an academic working on a specific problem, of course: Especially people working on their PhD-thesis usually concentrate on a quick and dirty solution to the specific problem they are working on, and as soon as they get their PhD their code is deleted and never thought of again :-) Well, at least that's my impression.`

Graham wrote:

Thanks for the link! Sourceforge came to my mind as a possible host for "my project" - but I hadn't looked for similar projects over there before; the list seems to indicate that there isn't anything similar to what I have in mind, though...

`Graham wrote: <blockquote> <p> sourceforge lists some climate science projects. </p> </blockquote> Thanks for the link! Sourceforge came to my mind as a possible host for "my project" - but I hadn't looked for similar projects over there before; the list seems to indicate that there isn't anything similar to what I have in mind, though...`

Tim wrote:

At the very least it would include many of the topics of the more mathematical conferences listed on the Azimuth Project. But it will also include more. I'll say more in a while, and also ask for suggestions about what this subject might include. Before the end of the year I need to write an article about this for the Bulletin of the Canadian Mathematical Society!

How old are you, by the way?

I was more imagining hiring you part-time as a kind of side job, but only if you were really eager to do it. In reality, it'll probably be easier to hire idealistic, energetic and poorly paid grad students...

`Tim wrote: >What would green mathematics be about? At the very least it would include many of the topics of the more mathematical [[conferences]] listed on the Azimuth Project. But it will also include more. I'll say more in a while, and also ask for suggestions about what this subject might include. Before the end of the year I need to write an article about this for the Bulletin of the Canadian Mathematical Society! >But regarding me joining an academic group: The reason why I won't do it is because I can make a living working as a software engineer - and I need a convincing CV to get jobs. Working in academia on climate science for a couple of years would drastically reduce my chances on the job market :-) Plus I think I'm too old for a career change. How old are you, by the way? I was more imagining hiring you part-time as a kind of side job, but only if you were really eager to do it. In reality, it'll probably be easier to hire idealistic, energetic and poorly paid grad students...`

Hm, it's not easy to guess what mathematical content these conferences have, I'd say

What is specifically green about this? I.e. what is not covered already by standard graduate courses in applied mathematics?

Why is that?

I'm 35.

If I'm really eager to do something there is no need to pay me for doing it :-) Since your budget will be limited, I'd consider it unfair to take away a job opportunity from grad students, who are in need of both the money and the experience.

`<blockquote> <p> At the very least it would include many of the topics of the more mathematical [Conferences] listed on the Azimuth Project. </p> </blockquote> Hm, it's not easy to guess what mathematical content these conferences have, I'd say - probability theory, statistics, stochastic processes, - numerical solutions of ODE, PDE and stochastic DE, - discrete mathematics, data structures and algorithms. What is specifically green about this? I.e. what is not covered already by standard graduate courses in applied mathematics? <blockquote> <p> Before the end of the year I need to write an article about this for the Bulletin of the Canadian Mathematical Society! </p> </blockquote> Why is that? <blockquote> <p> How old are you, by the way? </p> </blockquote> I'm 35. <blockquote> <p> I was more imagining hiring you part-time as a kind of side job, but only if you were really eager to do it. In reality, it'll probably be easier to hire idealistic, energetic and poorly paid grad students... </p> </blockquote> If I'm really eager to do something there is no need to pay me for doing it :-) Since your budget will be limited, I'd consider it unfair to take away a job opportunity from grad students, who are in need of both the money and the experience.`

Tim asked John

Incidentally, maybe it's my values (which are slightly different to yours) but I don't like the expression "green mathematics" in the same way I don't like expressions like "rational choice theory": it's trying to use naming rather than detailed argument to force a conclusion. Maybe "sustainability mathematics" or "environmental mathematics"?

I guess the other questions is: what should a student taking the course be expecting to get out of it? Is it to understand existing academic ideas on environmental issues or be prepared to make new contributions or something else? I'd be inclined to think that for new contributions the best thing would be looking via computer simulation at the effects of large numbers of "entities" (whether humans, animals, processes, etc) behaving according to rules (which are not simple analytic functions), and how to formulate and investigate new models. Unfortunately this doesn't provide much room for conceptual or neat-proof based mathematics.

`Tim asked John > What would green mathematics be about? Incidentally, maybe it's my values (which are slightly different to yours) but I don't like the expression "green mathematics" in the same way I don't like expressions like "rational choice theory": it's trying to use naming rather than detailed argument to force a conclusion. Maybe "sustainability mathematics" or "environmental mathematics"? I guess the other questions is: what should a student taking the course be expecting to get out of it? Is it to understand existing academic ideas on environmental issues or be prepared to make new contributions or something else? I'd be inclined to think that for new contributions the best thing would be looking via computer simulation at the effects of large numbers of "entities" (whether humans, animals, processes, etc) behaving according to rules (which are not simple analytic functions), and how to formulate and investigate new models. Unfortunately this doesn't provide much room for conceptual or neat-proof based mathematics.`

Tim wrote:

Hmm, I'm 48. So I'm a bit nervous when

youtalk about being too old. I must be almost dead.It's not just the math, it's what the math is

appliedto.I'm not an expert on how applied math is taught: we've traditionally had very few applied mathematicians at UCR, and thus very few courses, nothing like a well-developed "program". Recently the administration has pushed our department in the applied direction. This year, for example, we'll only have money to hire one person, and that person must be applied. So, I have a good reason to start working on applied stuff, in addition to the fact that I

wantto. However, I don't know what the "standard graduate courses in applied math" are like.My vague impression, though, is that actual applied mathematicians apply mathematics

to something--- so that in the US, applied math grad students take courses on that particularsomething, not only on the general techniques you list. So, for example, a good program would have courses in fluid mechanics, or biomathematics, or whatever.Let me see if I'm right! The University of Arizona has a huge applied math department, and... let's see... they have courses like this:

So, I can imagine that if I pushed for "green mathematics" in the graduate program at UCR, it would amount in part to a few courses like "Environmental Statistics", "Mathematical Modeling", and the like - and if I taught them, I would start out by explaining why we need to 'save the planet', and build the course around that theme.

I couldn't teach such a course without needing to learn a lot myself, but that's typical...

First because I want to, and second because (for some obscure reasons I'd rather not go into) it's more likely to be accepted if I do it by that deadline.

`Tim wrote: >I'm 35. Hmm, I'm 48. So I'm a bit nervous when _you_ talk about being too old. I must be almost dead. <img src = "http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/emoticons/tongue2.gif" alt = ""/> > * probability theory, statistics, stochastic processes, > * numerical solutions of ODE, PDE and stochastic DE, > * discrete mathematics, data structures and algorithms. > What is specifically green about this? I.e. what is not covered already by standard graduate courses in applied mathematics? It's not just the math, it's what the math is _applied_ to. I'm not an expert on how applied math is taught: we've traditionally had very few applied mathematicians at UCR, and thus very few courses, nothing like a well-developed "program". Recently the administration has pushed our department in the applied direction. This year, for example, we'll only have money to hire one person, and that person must be applied. So, I have a good reason to start working on applied stuff, in addition to the fact that I _want_ to. However, I don't know what the "standard graduate courses in applied math" are like. My vague impression, though, is that actual applied mathematicians apply mathematics _to something_ --- so that in the US, applied math grad students take courses on that particular _something_, not only on the general techniques you list. So, for example, a good program would have courses in fluid mechanics, or biomathematics, or whatever. Let me see if I'm right! The University of Arizona has a huge applied math department, and... let's see... they have courses like this: ~~~ 547 Combinatorial Mathematics Spring 553A Partial Differential Equations Fall 553B Partial Differential Equations Spring 554 Ordinary Differential Equations Fall 556 Applied Partial Differential Equations Spring 557A Dynamical Systems and Chaos Fall 557B Dynamical Systems and Chaos Spring 559A Lie Groups and Lie Algebras Fall 559B Lie Groups and Lie Algebras Spring 563 Probability Theory Fall 564 Theory of Probability Fall 565A Stochastic Processes Spring 565B Stochastic Processes Fall 565C Stochastic Differential Equations Spring 566 Theory of Statistics Spring 567A Theoretical Statistics I Spring 567B Theoretical Statistics II Fall 568 Applied Stochastic Processes Spring 571A Advanced Statistical Regression Analysis Fall 571B Design of Experiments Spring 573 Theory of Computation Spring 574E Environmental Statistics Fall and Spring 574G Introduction to Geostatistics Spring 574T Time Series Analysis Fall and Spring 575A Numerical Analysis Fall 575B Numerical Analysis Spring 576A Numerical Analysis PDE Fall 576B Numerical Analysis PDE Spring 577 Topics in Applied Mathematics Fall and Spring 579 Game Theory and Mathematical Programming Spring 582 Applied Complex Analysis Spring 583A Principles and Methods of Applied Mathematics Fall 583B Principles and Methods of Applied Mathematics Spring 585 Mathematical Modeling Spring 586 Case Studies in Applied Mathematics Fall and Spring 587 Perturbation Methods in Applied Mathematics Fall 588 Topics in Mathematical Physics Fall and Spring 589 Software Tools for Computational Science and Engineering ~~~ So, I can imagine that if I pushed for "green mathematics" in the graduate program at UCR, it would amount in part to a few courses like "Environmental Statistics", "Mathematical Modeling", and the like - and if I taught them, I would start out by explaining why we need to 'save the planet', and build the course around that theme. I couldn't teach such a course without needing to learn a lot myself, but that's typical... > > Before the end of the year I need to write an article about this for the Bulletin of the Canadian Mathematical Society! > Why is that? First because I want to, and second because (for some obscure reasons I'd rather not go into) it's more likely to be accepted if I do it by that deadline.`

Hey, I said I'm too old for a

career change.Okay, I think I know a little bit about all the topics on that list except

Applied Complex Analysis

Design of Experiments

Mathematical Modeling

Regarding the first: A long time ago I attended a class about fluid modelling, but "Applied Complex Analysis" could of course mean a lot of different things.

And the last two titles sound

verygeneric...`<blockquote> <p> Hmm, I'm 48. So I'm a bit nervous when you talk about being too old. I must be almost dead. </p> </blockquote> Hey, I said I'm too old for a <i>career change</i>. Okay, I think I know a little bit about all the topics on that list except * Applied Complex Analysis * Design of Experiments * Mathematical Modeling Regarding the first: A long time ago I attended a class about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_flow_in_two_dimensions#Analysis_for_two-dimensional_flow">fluid modelling</a>, but "Applied Complex Analysis" could of course mean a lot of different things. And the last two titles sound <i>very</i> generic...`

It should be that way, of course, but as a matter of fact - according to my own limited experience, that is - professors complain that most of their students lack the background knowledge needed to understand the applications, and there is too little time to explain them. So it is not uncommon to teach about

ordinary differential equations without mentioning classical mechanics,

the Navier-Stokes equation without explaining fluid dynamics,

linear operators on Hilbert spaces without mentioning quantum mechanics (well, Ok, most mathematics students don't know anything about physics today, so that one would be a little bit too hard I guess)

statistical inference without explaining statistical physics or any other real world application,

etc. Well, at the danger of appearing arrogant: the professors of "applied mathematics" that I got to know don't know anything about applications either.

(Once upon a time I asked one about any application of what he had told us in the classroom, and next time he came up with another theorem where he could apply what he had told us earlier to the proof of that theorem. That is not a joke.)

`<blockquote> <p> My vague impression, though, is that actual applied mathematicians apply mathematics to something --- so that in the US, applied math grad students take courses on that particular something, not only on the general techniques you list. </p> </blockquote> It should be that way, of course, but as a matter of fact - according to my own limited experience, that is - professors complain that most of their students lack the background knowledge needed to understand the applications, and there is too little time to explain them. So it is not uncommon to teach about * ordinary differential equations without mentioning classical mechanics, * the Navier-Stokes equation without explaining fluid dynamics, * linear operators on Hilbert spaces without mentioning quantum mechanics (well, Ok, most mathematics students don't know anything about physics today, so that one would be a little bit too hard I guess) * statistical inference without explaining statistical physics or any other real world application, etc. Well, at the danger of appearing arrogant: the professors of "applied mathematics" that I got to know don't know anything about applications either. (Once upon a time I asked one about any application of what he had told us in the classroom, and next time he came up with another theorem where he could apply what he had told us earlier to the proof of that theorem. That is not a joke.)`

David wrote:

What, you think civilization should be

sustainable?Aren't you trying to force a conclusion here? It sounds like a pretty radical idea you've got there.Seriously, I mainly like the term "green mathematics" for its shock value - most people visualize math as gray, or perhaps black and white. I thought I'd try it out on you guys, and it had an interesting effect. I'd considered "Green Mathematics" as the name for my blog, but I decided against it for lots of reasons. For one, the "green" concept has been appropriated by lots of organizations, from the Green Party to various corporations trying to make their image more appealing. I didn't want to be saddled by all these pre-existing associations of the word "green".

For another, I decided I didn't want the name to give such prominence to mathematics!

For slightly different but similar reasons, I doubt I could convince UCR to officially use the term "green mathematics" even if I wanted to.

Since I guess you went to school in Britain, maybe I should emphasize that at U.C. Riverside students are required to take courses on all sorts of random stuff, for "breadth".

So, there are lots of undergrads at UCR, non-math-majors, who take a course on the history of mathematics to satisfy degree requirements. I bet a lot of them might prefer to take a course on "mathematics and the environment". And I would be happy if they learned a few simple differential equations describing population growth, overfishing, climate feedback, and the like. Maybe solving them numerically using a spreadsheet, rather than analytically. Stuff like that. With luck I could easily produce 40 people per year who know more vastly more about the problems we face than your average UCR student.

Then there are math majors. A suitable course for them might get 2-10 people per year interested in combining their interest in math with something like climate modelling or energy technology or... something like that.

Then there are math grad students, who might be competent enough to try

Yes,

... but in an applied math program, I don't think it's all about proofs. I think people can do theses that report the results of simulations.

By the way, I don't plan to spend as much energy fiddling around with proofs as I used to. They're tons of fun, but not much use for the big problems we're dealing with.

`David wrote: > Incidentally, maybe it's my values (which are slightly different to yours) but I don't like the expression "green mathematics" in the same way I don't like expressions like "rational choice theory": it's trying to use naming rather than detailed argument to force a conclusion. Maybe "sustainability mathematics" or "environmental mathematics"? What, you think civilization should be _sustainable?_ Aren't you trying to force a conclusion here? It sounds like a pretty radical idea you've got there. Seriously, I mainly like the term "green mathematics" for its shock value - most people visualize math as gray, or perhaps black and white. I thought I'd try it out on you guys, and it had an interesting effect. I'd considered "Green Mathematics" as the name for my blog, but I decided against it for lots of reasons. For one, the "green" concept has been appropriated by lots of organizations, from the Green Party to various corporations trying to make their image more appealing. I didn't want to be saddled by all these pre-existing associations of the word "green". For another, I decided I didn't want the name to give such prominence to mathematics! For slightly different but similar reasons, I doubt I could convince UCR to officially use the term "green mathematics" even if I wanted to. > I guess the other questions is: what should a student taking the course be expecting to get out of it? Is it to understand existing academic ideas on environmental issues or be prepared to make new contributions or something else? Since I guess you went to school in Britain, maybe I should emphasize that at U.C. Riverside students are required to take courses on all sorts of random stuff, for "breadth". So, there are lots of undergrads at UCR, non-math-majors, who take a course on the history of mathematics to satisfy degree requirements. I bet a lot of them might prefer to take a course on "mathematics and the environment". And I would be happy if they learned a few simple differential equations describing population growth, overfishing, climate feedback, and the like. Maybe solving them numerically using a spreadsheet, rather than analytically. Stuff like that. With luck I could easily produce 40 people per year who know more vastly more about the problems we face than your average UCR student. Then there are math majors. A suitable course for them might get 2-10 people per year interested in combining their interest in math with something like climate modelling or energy technology or... something like that. Then there are math grad students, who might be competent enough to try > looking via computer simulation at the effects of large numbers of "entities" (whether humans, animals, processes, etc) behaving according to rules (which are not simple analytic functions), and how to formulate and investigate new models. Yes, > this doesn't provide much room for conceptual or neat-proof based mathematics ... but in an applied math program, I don't think it's all about proofs. I think people can do theses that report the results of simulations. By the way, I don't plan to spend as much energy fiddling around with proofs as I used to. They're tons of fun, but not much use for the big problems we're dealing with.`

Writing as a geriatric, I was interested to note the use of Fourier transforms to evaluate the effect of changes in springtime temperatures on grape harvests. I wonder if anything similar has been done with the aim of mitigating the effects of climate change on hops? Might this be the basis of a useful term project?

BTW Having shared a building with someone who was promoting "the greening of higher education" a few years ago I share David T's apprehension about the term 'green mathematics'.

`Writing as a geriatric, I was interested to note the use of Fourier transforms to evaluate [the effect of changes in springtime temperatures on grape harvests](http://www.infer-research.net/files_publications/wp2010_1.pdf). I wonder if anything similar has been done with the aim of mitigating the effects of climate change on hops? Might this be the basis of a useful term project? BTW Having shared a building with someone who was promoting "the greening of higher education" a few years ago I share David T's apprehension about the term 'green mathematics'.`

To clarify, my issue with "green mathematics" is that "green" generally has connotations of encouraging natural growths of forests, plants and other green stuff. Suppose the detailed numbers and physics did favour placing 48 gigatons of serpentine each year over any available surface. Presumably we'd be in favour of this, but that's not a very "green" policy. Likewise extensive climate engineering by, dunno, putting huge amounts of $SO_2$ in the upper atmosphere isn't very "green". "Enivronmental" or "sustainable" speak to a slightly different goal which may, given where we've got to start from, be all that's possible.

`To clarify, my issue with "green mathematics" is that "green" generally has connotations of encouraging natural growths of forests, plants and other green stuff. Suppose the detailed numbers and physics did favour placing 48 gigatons of serpentine each year over any available surface. Presumably we'd be in favour of this, but that's not a very "green" policy. Likewise extensive climate engineering by, dunno, putting huge amounts of $SO_2$ in the upper atmosphere isn't very "green". "Enivronmental" or "sustainable" speak to a slightly different goal which may, given where we've got to start from, be all that's possible.`

David P. wrote:

After a quick glance I'd say the authors use a variation of a wavelet analysis of time series as described in this book: Wavelet methods for time series analysis.

Wavelets are very useful when there are several processes that are mostly independent and excert an influence over very different time scales, therefore I'd expect that they would be

very usefulto study climate effects. But since I don't know anything about climate science I don't know about any applications...:-(`David P. wrote: <blockquote> <p> I was interested to note the use of Fourier transforms to evaluate the effect of changes in springtime temperatures on grape harvests. I wonder if anything similar has been done with the aim of mitigating the effects of climate change on hops? Might this be the basis of a useful term project? </p> </blockquote> After a quick glance I'd say the authors use a variation of a wavelet analysis of time series as described in this book: <a href="http://www.zentralblatt-math.org/zmath/en/advanced/?q=an:0963.62079">Wavelet methods for time series analysis.</a> Wavelets are very useful when there are several processes that are mostly independent and excert an influence over very different time scales, therefore I'd expect that they would be <i>very useful</i> to study climate effects. But since I don't know anything about climate science I don't know about any applications...:-(`

David T. wrote:

Oh, okay. Yet another connotation, more fundamental than "Green party" or crud like this:

... but still perhaps distracting.

Well, serpentine is actually

very green:But I take your point.

`David T. wrote: > To clarify, my issue with "green mathematics" is that "green" generally has connotations of encouraging natural growths of forests, plants and other green stuff. Oh, okay. Yet another connotation, more fundamental than "Green party" or crud like this: <img src = "http://www.ecosherpa.com/images/green-works.jpg" alt = ""/> ... but still perhaps distracting. > Suppose the detailed numbers and physics did favour placing 48 gigatons of serpentine each year over any available surface. Presumably we'd be in favour of this, but that's not a very "green" policy. Well, serpentine is actually _very green_: <img src = "http://en.wikivisual.com/images/c/c2/Serpentine-bowenite.jpg" alt = ""/> But I take your point.`

Eric Forgy added a list of action plan pages that are currently

top priorityfor the Azimuth Project. Smart! I could really use help on these pages - these are the first ones I want to blog about.Plans of action

is one of our 'overview pages', since it's the title of an official 'category' on the Azimuth Project. I added a new section at the end saying this, and linking to a (supposedly) complete list of all pages in this category.

`Eric Forgy added a list of action plan pages that are currently _top priority_ for the Azimuth Project. Smart! I could really use help on these pages - these are the first ones I want to blog about. [[Plans of action]] is one of our 'overview pages', since it's the title of an official 'category' on the Azimuth Project. I added a new section at the end saying this, and linking to a (supposedly) [complete list of all pages in this category](here).`

Added Tokyo Climate Change Strategy

`Added [Tokyo Climate Change Strategy](http://www.kankyo.metro.tokyo.jp/kouhou/english/pdf/TOKYO%20Climate%20Change%20Strategy%202007.6.1.pdf)`

Added link to Sustainable cities

`Added link to [Sustainable cities](http://sustainablecities.dk/)`

Added Roadmap 2050 to plans of action.

`Added Roadmap 2050 to plans of action.`

Is Plans of action the most appropriate place to refer to MMOGEP?

Compare

with

`Is [[Plans of action]] the most appropriate place to refer to [[MMOGEP]]? Compare > This page lists detailed plans of action for tackling global warming and other environmental problems. with > Here – a very incomplete and rough (and probably not working) scheme as a start, which is mainly intended to encourage brainstorming about these issues rather than provide a solution.`

I'd say MMOGEP is one of our Experiments, not a Plan of action, so I've reclassified it.

By the way, Nadja - this seems like a great idea! Games are one of the main drivers of computer hardware development, and it would be cool if they could also drive the development of society a bit.

`I'd say MMOGEP is one of our [[Experiments]], not a [[Plan of action]], so I've reclassified it. By the way, Nadja - this seems like a great idea! Games are one of the main drivers of computer hardware development, and it would be cool if they could also drive the development of society a bit.`

@Frederik

The scheme for the game Utopia (which is part of MMOGEP) is here not the most important part. The principle concept and the motivations for MMOGEP are important and already quite detailled. One should also say that a lot of the climate plans are also not very detailled in the sense of presenting a concrete way of how to politically invigorate a plan. That is the plans may say that this and that should be done - but the politician at home doesn't always know how to concretely implement such plan. And I think this is a structural problem. The motivation behind MMOGEP is actually amongst others to make this problem more visible.

Being unexperienced in game development and without a budget I am definitely not in the position to sit down and develop such a thing. I may only contribute on and off with some ideas. But I still think that this is a right direction to go and I tried to explain why. The idea for MMOGEP was lying around for a year on our blog without anyone interested. So in the article I sofar wrote I have put quite an effort to motivate the idea for MMOPEG a bit better, moreover I put parts of the article on Azimuth in order to disseminate this idea a bit further. It is clear that if one is interested in results from such a project then this is research and most probable not a very profitable undertaking. I don't know wether the big game developpers would be up for such a "charity". Moreover the traditional research organisations would probably give a slight polite cough and smile about an application for an "research online game" with a budget of 10 million $. So I fear MMOGEP will get more detailled only bit by bit if at all.

But I don't know wether it makes sense to open up an extra page for: "This page lists not so detailed plans of action for tackling global warming and other environmental problems." ???

`@Frederik The scheme for the game Utopia (which is part of MMOGEP) is here not the most important part. The principle concept and the motivations for MMOGEP are important and already quite detailled. One should also say that a lot of the climate plans are also not very detailled in the sense of presenting a concrete way of how to politically invigorate a plan. That is the plans may say that this and that should be done - but the politician at home doesn't always know how to concretely implement such plan. And I think this is a structural problem. The motivation behind MMOGEP is actually amongst others to make this problem more visible. Being unexperienced in game development and without a budget I am definitely not in the position to sit down and develop such a thing. I may only contribute on and off with some ideas. But I still think that this is a right direction to go and I tried to explain why. The idea for MMOGEP was lying around for a year on our blog without anyone interested. So in the article I sofar wrote I have put quite an effort to motivate the idea for MMOPEG a bit better, moreover I put parts of the article on Azimuth in order to disseminate this idea a bit further. It is clear that if one is interested in results from such a project then this is research and most probable not a very profitable undertaking. I don't know wether the big game developpers would be up for such a "charity". Moreover the traditional research organisations would probably give a slight polite cough and smile about an application for an "research online game" with a budget of 10 million $. So I fear MMOGEP will get more detailled only bit by bit if at all. But I don't know wether it makes sense to open up an extra page for: "This page lists not so detailed plans of action for tackling global warming and other environmental problems." ???`

@John

I didnt see that you had meanwhile written a comment.

`@John I didnt see that you had meanwhile written a comment.`

Nadja: I should blog about your idea to bring some more attention to it. The success of certain global warming games means it's not completely absurd to imagine that some MMOG's could be both commercially viable and useful experiments. If a MMOG simulates a nicer world than ours, some people may want to spend time there. It's at least fun to think about.

I'm getting pretty busy with blogging, so it may take a while.

My next post will be a guest post by Eric Downes on statistical mechanics. Then I want to write a This Weeks Finds about the Milankovitch cycles, based on work done here at Azimuth. I also want want to write about Peak oil and The Complete Global Warming Solution and maybe the Fukushima disaster!

`Nadja: I should blog about your idea to bring some more attention to it. The success of certain global warming games means it's not completely absurd to imagine that some MMOG's could be both commercially viable and useful experiments. If a MMOG simulates a nicer world than ours, some people may want to spend time there. It's at least fun to think about. I'm getting pretty busy with blogging, so it may take a while. My next post will be a guest post by Eric Downes on statistical mechanics. Then I want to write a This Weeks Finds about the [[Milankovitch cycles]], based on work done here at Azimuth. I also want want to write about [[Peak oil]] and [[The Complete Global Warming Solution]] and maybe the Fukushima disaster!`

@John "The success of certain global warming games means it's not completely absurd to imagine that some MMOG's could be both commercially viable and useful experiments. If a MMOG simulates a nicer world than ours, some people may want to spend time there. It's at least fun to think about." Sure there could be MMOGs which could be commercially viable as a byproduct. But one of the main points of the project is that one should look for a MMOG which may lead to a better working scheme for global economies/politics, rather then to to search for a commercially successful project. In particular it is important that there should be no pressure to implement features which may make the project eventually commercially more successful but maybe eventually less helpful for the purpose, like e.g. the feature of an egoshooter. Maybe I should point that out more clearly.

"I'm getting pretty busy with blogging, so it may take a while."

so I should better go to these companies: http://www.peerindex.net/help/about http://klout.com/ and complain about my bad influence index ? (my twitter account yields: http://klout.com/twithandle)

No but seriously, there is no hurry. I also can't devote currently too much time to this project.

`@John "The success of certain global warming games means it's not completely absurd to imagine that some MMOG's could be both commercially viable and useful experiments. If a MMOG simulates a nicer world than ours, some people may want to spend time there. It's at least fun to think about." Sure there could be MMOGs which could be commercially viable as a byproduct. But one of the main points of the project is that one should look for a MMOG which may lead to a better working scheme for global economies/politics, rather then to to search for a commercially successful project. In particular it is important that there should be no pressure to implement features which may make the project eventually commercially more successful but maybe eventually less helpful for the purpose, like e.g. the feature of an egoshooter. Maybe I should point that out more clearly. "I'm getting pretty busy with blogging, so it may take a while." so I should better go to these companies: http://www.peerindex.net/help/about http://klout.com/ and complain about my bad influence index ? (my twitter account yields: http://klout.com/twithandle) No but seriously, there is no hurry. I also can't devote currently too much time to this project.`

@Nadja, great idea!

Maybe Professor Jesse Schell's website is of your interest. He wrote a book about game design. You should have a look at Gamification, too. While sim games use real life elements for game dynamics, gamification adopts gameplay mechanics for real life applications. Reversing the arrows, gamification is the dual of sim games :P

Sorry for the OT.

`@Nadja, great idea! Maybe [Professor Jesse Schell's website](http://artofgamedesign.com/) is of your interest. He wrote a book about game design. You should have a look at [Gamification](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamification), too. While sim games use real life elements for game dynamics, gamification adopts gameplay mechanics for real life applications. Reversing the arrows, gamification is the dual of sim games :P Sorry for the OT.`

@mstn

thanks for the link to Professor Jesse Schells website.

"You should have a look at Gamification, too. While sim games use real life elements for game dynamics, gamification adopts gameplay mechanics for real life applications. Reversing the arrows, gamification is the dual of sim games :P"

I actually had written in that article draft (http://www.randform.org/blog/wp-content/2011/03/game260411.pdf) that if one thinks about implementing results of the game into the real world and if there are very useful gamelike features which one would like to carry over to the real world then one may eventually include elements of gamification. However even an augmented reality egoshooter seems to be quite quite off topic.

`@mstn thanks for the link to Professor Jesse Schells website. "You should have a look at Gamification, too. While sim games use real life elements for game dynamics, gamification adopts gameplay mechanics for real life applications. Reversing the arrows, gamification is the dual of sim games :P" I actually had written in that article draft (http://www.randform.org/blog/wp-content/2011/03/game260411.pdf) that if one thinks about implementing results of the game into the real world and if there are very useful gamelike features which one would like to carry over to the real world then one may eventually include elements of gamification. However even an augmented reality egoshooter seems to be quite quite off topic.`

Okay, Nadja, I won't rush... but I

dowant to blog about this gaming idea. I should be 'saving the planet', but I wasted the last 2 days working on a fun problem involving chemistry and graph theory... since you like elegant mathematical physics you may enjoy this and may even forgive me.By the way - it's easy to include links here, and nice to do so. Just click 'Markdown+Itex' and instead of writing

`I actually had written in that article draft (http://www.randform.org/blog/wp-content/2011/03/game260411.pdf)`

write something like

`I actually had written in [that article draft](http://www.randform.org/blog/wp-content/2011/03/game260411.pdf)`

which gives

`Okay, Nadja, I won't rush... but I _do_ want to blog about this gaming idea. I should be 'saving the planet', but I wasted the last 2 days working on a [fun problem involving chemistry and graph theory](http://www.azimuthproject.org/azimuth/show/Experiments+in+Markov+chains)... since you like elegant mathematical physics you may enjoy this and may even forgive me. By the way - it's easy to include links here, and nice to do so. Just click 'Markdown+Itex' and instead of writing `I actually had written in that article draft (http://www.randform.org/blog/wp-content/2011/03/game260411.pdf)` write something like `I actually had written in [that article draft](http://www.randform.org/blog/wp-content/2011/03/game260411.pdf)` which gives > I actually had written in [that article draft](http://www.randform.org/blog/wp-content/2011/03/game260411.pdf)`

"... since you like elegant mathematical physics"

I like elegant mathematical physics, unfortunately a lot of mathematical physics is not only unelegant but rightous UGLY! I can bear some degree of ugliness but sometimes if its getting too disgusting I have to step back in order to avoid vomitting...

In principle it is good if this idea is disseminated further, however I think it would do good to think about it a bit more in-depth and to work it out a bit further, but I can't put too much energy into that currently.

I think it is good if people know that there exists this project, but such big projects need to be well thought and one has to be careful that one is not getting busy with discussing the project, while not working at it.

I was thinking about talking about it at a conference here in Berlin (http://okcon.org), there seem to be people interested in the subject and actually a person called Guo Xu who would attend the conference was also thinking about using MMOGs for assessing economical questions: http://berlintalksoneconomics.blogspot.com/2009/11/learning-from-virtual-economies_04.html so in priniple it would be good to attend but at the moment I feel rather repelled to do so: (see http://openeconomics.net/thinkspace/)

`"... since you like elegant mathematical physics" I like elegant mathematical physics, unfortunately a lot of mathematical physics is not only unelegant but rightous UGLY! I can bear some degree of ugliness but sometimes if its getting too disgusting I have to step back in order to avoid vomitting... In principle it is good if this idea is disseminated further, however I think it would do good to think about it a bit more in-depth and to work it out a bit further, but I can't put too much energy into that currently. I think it is good if people know that there exists this project, but such big projects need to be well thought and one has to be careful that one is not getting busy with discussing the project, while not working at it. I was thinking about talking about it at a conference here in Berlin ([http://okcon.org](http://okcon.org)), there seem to be people interested in the subject and actually a person called Guo Xu who would attend the conference was also thinking about using MMOGs for assessing economical questions: [http://berlintalksoneconomics.blogspot.com/2009/11/learning-from-virtual-economies_04.html](http://berlintalksoneconomics.blogspot.com/2009/11/learning-from-virtual-economies_04.html) so in priniple it would be good to attend but at the moment I feel rather repelled to do so: (see [http://openeconomics.net/thinkspace/](http://openeconomics.net/thinkspace/))`

or u can press the source button on the right side !

`or u can press the source button on the right side !`

I updated the section

since some people on G+ commenting on a post of mine start saying things like:

and

`I updated the section * [Plans of action: city action plans](http://www.azimuthproject.org/azimuth/show/Plans+of+action#city_action_plans). since some people on G+ commenting on a [post of mine](https://plus.google.com/u/0/117663015413546257905/posts/BnZCchyzSoR) start saying things like: > This article made me realize that there's another challenge facing those of us who already think about climate change: a lot of new people are going to be joining us soon. And they are going to be very troubled by what they learn. They'll probably need some help figuring out how to cope. Have we figured that out yet? and > It sounds to me like we need to begin on a second track regarding Global Warming. The first track we're already dealing with, that is that it's happening, we're the ones responsible for it, and how do we mitigate the activities and the consequences of those activities that are causing it. The second track that we need to start dealing with is, we're pretty much screwed, what are the likely geopolitical consequences of being screwed, and what are our plans for dealing with those consequences. That is, with equity and fairness in mind, what do we need to start doing now, in order to cope with the consequences of a planet that is warming and how do we mitigate the worst case scenarios?`