By Jim Crowley
You have probably heard that 2013 is the year of Mathematics of Planet Earth, but do you know what that means?
MPE2013 began as an initiative of North American math institutes, a way of highlighting contributions of the mathematical sciences to understanding our planet and biosphere. In the short time since MPE2013 was founded, more than 100 organizations in the mathematical sciences, including SIAM, have become partners in this worldwide effort to promote the contributions of mathematics to areas of the geosciences, biology, climate, and related fields.
Events scheduled for the year include sponsored public lectures, workshops, and summer schools on MPE2013-related themes. In addition, many conferences in the mathematical sciences have elected to make Math of Planet Earth a major theme; among them are the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting (San Diego, July 8–12) and the SIAM Conference on Geosciences (June 17–20 in Padova, Italy).
The organizers hope that MPE2013 will attract the attention of the media and, with plans for a daily blog, hope to enlist people from the community to serve as bloggers (go to http://mpe2013.org/ to volunteer).
An example of an activity scheduled for MPE2013 is a series of public lectures to be given around the world. Held in traditional lecture format in a public hall, each of the lectures will be streamed live to viewers around the world. Topics include biodiversity (“Motility: Molecules, Mechanics, Mathematics and Machines,” by L. Mahadevan), epidemiology (“Puzzles in the Pattern of Plagues,” by David Earn), and climate (“Using Mathematics to Combat Climate Change,” by Ron Dembo).
Stay tuned. You may see MPE2103 featured on public television in the U.S. or highlighted in the media. We hope that readers will seek ways to participate and help show the contributions that our community makes to understanding our world and the living things around us.