A while back, I mentioned that 2013 will be a special year for programs on the Mathematics of Planet Earth. I also mentioned that the Centre de Recerca Matematica in Barcelona is inviting mathematicians to organize conferences and workshops on this theme.
They’re also inviting mathematicians to organize workshops on this theme at the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery, or BIRS. This is a famous and beautiful research center in the Canadian Rockies.
The deadline is coming up on September 30th, and I want to apply. If you’d like to join me, please drop me a note, either here on this blog or by email!
I’m open to all sorts of ideas, and I’d love help from biologists or climate scientists. If you don’t give me a better idea, I’ll probably do an application on network theory. It might look a bit like this:
Diagrammatic languages for describing complex networks made of interacting parts are used throughout ecology, biology, climate science, engineering, and many other fields. Examples include Systems Biology Graphical Notation, Petri nets in computer science, stochastic Petri nets and chemical reaction networks in chemistry and biochemistry, bond graphs in electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering, Bayesian networks in probabilistic reasoning, box models in climate science, and Harold Odum’s Energy Systems Language for systems ecology. Often these diagrammatic languages are invented by practitioners in a given field without reference to previous work in other fields. Recently mathematicians have set up the theoretical infrastructure needed to formalize, rigorously relate, and some cases unify these various languages. Doing this will help interdisciplinary work of the sort that is becoming important in theoretical ecology, climate science and ‘the mathematics of planet Earth’. The goal of this workshop is to bring together experts on various diagrammatic languages and mathematicians who study the general theory of diagrammatic reasoning.
If you’d be interested in coming to a workshop on this subject, let me know. Banff provides accommodation, full board, and research facilities—but not, I believe, travel funds! So, “interested in coming” means “interested enough to pay for your own flight”.
Banff does “full workshops” with 42 people for 5 days, and “half workshops” with 20 people for 5 days. Part of why I’m asking you to express your interest is to gauge which seems more appropriate.
Here’s what they say:
With a growing global population competing for the same global resources, an increased frequency and intensity of dramatic climatic events, and evidence pointing to more long-term patterns of general climate change, the pressure to comprehend nature and its trends is greater than ever. Leaders in politics, sociology and economics have begun to seriously take note of issues which before were confined to the natural sciences alone, and mathematical modeling is at the heart of much of the research undertaken. The year 2013 has thus been earmarked by mathematical sciences institutes around the world as a time for a special emphasis on the study of the “Mathematics of Planet Earth” (MPE 13). This theme is to be interpreted as broadly as possible, in the aim of creating new partnerships with related disciplines and casting new light on the many ways in which the mathematical sciences can help to comprehend and tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.
The Banff International Research Station (BIRS) is a full partner in this important initiative, as the goals of MPE 13 are completely in line with the station’s commitment to pursuing excellence in a broad range of mathematical sciences and applications. BIRS has already planned to host five workshops in 2012 which deal with the themes of MPE 13:
• “Emergent Behavior in Multi-particle Systems with Non-local Interactions” (January 22-27).
• “Frontiers in the Detection and Attribution of Climate Change” (May 29–June 1).
• “Model Reduction in Continuum Thermodynamics: Modeling, Analysis and Computation” (September 16-21).
BIRS also invites interested applicants to use the opportunities of its 2013 program and submit proposals in line of the MPE 2013 theme, in conjunction with BIRS’ regular format for programming. Proposals should be made using the BIRS online submission process.