SIAM News Blog

Mathematicians Working Behind the Scenes to Save Lives as Hurricane Florence Prepares to Hit U.S. Southeast Coastline

Behind the teams of emergency responders preparing the public for the expected catastrophic impact of Hurricane Florence is a group of American mathematicians working to save lives with what it calls the best defense – numbers.

The team – a group of researchers at several institutions across the U.S., including Clint Dawson, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Fellow of Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) – has developed a unique automated computer model, results of which can be found in real-time at, to provide the public with up-to-date information about the potential impact of Hurricane Florence.

Today at 8:45 a.m. EDT, Dawson – who has been working with the team to perfect this model for the last 20 years –   presented his key learnings to fellow number crunchers at the SIAM Conference on Mathematics of Planet Earth, which takes place September 13 to 15 in Philadelphia. Learn more about this research.

 Media are invited to schedule interviews with Dawson, who can speak on such topics as:

  • How mathematical modelling provides FEMA, the National Hurricane Center and other emergency response teams – including the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management – with the information they need to save lives in advance of Hurricane Florence’s landfall.

  • Behind-the-scenes insight into the extensive network of computer models being run across the U.S. and how it’s being used to protect citizens against the impact of rain, windfall and storm surge.

  • How mathematicians can be sure their hurricane path predictions are correct.

  • The future of weather forecasting as computers evolve in sophistication and power.

 To schedule interviews, please contact:

Elizabeth Glassen
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 877-986-1340
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