Sustainability in Palo Alto

One thing I’d like to do on this blog is announce conferences suitable for mathematicians and physicists who are interested in climate change, sustainability, energy technology, and the like. I’m not really part of that crowd yet, so I don’t automatically hear about such conferences. If you know some coming up, please tell me. Once the Azimuth wiki gets up and running — soon, soon! — it’ll be easy for us to keep a list of them there.

Anyway, my friend Bruce Smith told me about this one:

Sustainability problems, January 10-14, 2011, American Institute of Mathematics, Palo Alto, California. Organized by Ellis Cumberbatch and Wei Kang.

I won’t go, since flying across the Pacific to a 4-day workshop on sustainability seems… well, painfully ironic. But maybe you will, or know someone who will. I’d love to hear how it goes.

I hear the American Institute of Mathematics really means business when they hold workshops. You have to pick a problem to solve, and the staff coaches you and monitors how much progress you’re making! Has anyone here been to one?

This workshop is about four problems:

• Sustaining aquifers

• Reserve requirements for large-scale renewable energy integration

• Optimization of energy harvesting techniques

• Liquid-vapor fluid flow through a Tesla turbine

You can read more details on their webpage. Here’s the plan:

Each problem will be described by an engineer or scientist who represents the industry or public agency and who is well versed in the problem area. Teams of mathematicians and graduate students will work intensively on problem formulation, analysis, and implementation. The style of the workshop will be a blend of the format of the Math-in-Industry Study Group introduced in Oxford and the focused, collaborative style of AIM workshops.

2 Responses to Sustainability in Palo Alto

  1. Glenn Appleby says:


    You may want to check. Many previous AIM conferences are by invitation only.


    • Eugene says:

      This is not entirely correct. AIM workshops usually reserve a certain number of spots for outside applicants. And if you follow the link to this workshop you can see an online application form. Since the space is very limited not everyone who applies will be invited, but anyone can apply.

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