The challenge of sustainability and the promise of mathematics will be discussed by biologist Simon Levin from Princeton University, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11, Kane 210 as Math Across Campus kicks off for the year.
The continual increase in the human population and our demands on the Earth’s limited resources raises the urgent mandate of understanding the degree to which our actions are sustainable, Levin says. This is an enormous scientific challenge and mathematics provides a common language across disciplines. Mathematical tools help in understanding the collective dynamics of systems from bacterial biofilms to bird flocks and fish schools to ecosystems and the biosphere. They also provide ways to resolve the game-theoretic challenges of achieving cooperation among individuals and among nations in providing for our common future.