Math in the News
International Launch of MPE2013
December 7 is the official start of Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013, an international effort by the mathematics community to make lasting contributions to the well-being of Planet Earth.
More than 100 academic institutions and scholarly societies, including MAA, have joined the initiative to bring public awareness of the interdisciplinary nature of scientific research and the unique role played by mathematics in facing global challenges, including natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis; climate change; sustainability; and pandemics.
MPE2013 partners will sponsor workshops, research conferences, public lectures, outreach events, and educational opportunities for all ages (More detailed information is available on the MPE2013 website). Each country from a partner institution will host a special launch to the year. The U.S. launch of MPE2013 will take place during the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego.
The concept of the MPE2013 initiative came from Christiane Rousseau, Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union and a former President of the Canadian Mathematical Society. After having assembled the Canadian mathematical community around several exciting ventures, she dreamed of bringing together mathematicians and other scientists to create a unique, international research effort focussed on planetary challenges.
A passionate populariser of mathematics, Rousseau is directly involved in many of the MPE2013 outreach activities. “One of my rewards for working on MPE2013 is that I am able to share with the public the almost daily discovery of new applications of mathematics. The capacity for mathematicians to contribute to global solutions is slowly being realised, but time is pressing for the planet.”
MPE2013 enjoys the patronage of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. In a November 21 citation, Irena Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, said:
UNESCO strongly supports this extraordinary collaboration of mathematicians around the world to advance research on fundamental questions about planet Earth, to nurture a better understanding of global issues, to help inform the public, and to enrich the school curriculum about the essential role of mathematics in the challenges facing our planet.
MAA is excited to be a participating partner in this international effort. A full list of MAA MPE2013 events, including corresponding events at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings, is available here.
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