Mathematical Moments From The American Mathematical Society
 Autor: Vários
 Narrador: Vários
 Editor: Podcast
 Duración: 14:54:05
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Sinopsis
The American Mathematical Societys Mathematical Moments program promotes appreciation and understanding of the role mathematics plays in science, nature, technology, and human culture. Listen to researchers talk about how they use math: from presenting realistic animation to beating cancer.
Episodios

Supporting Wildlife with Statistics
22/02/2024 Duración: 09minDr. Outi Tervo of Greenland Institute for Natural Resources, shares how mathematics helps recommend speed limits for marine vessels, which benefits narwhals and Inuit culture. Narwhals "can only be found in the Arctic," said Outi Tervo, a senior scientist at GINR. "These species are going to be threatened by climate change more than other species that can live in a bigger geographical area." The collaboration has already lobbied on behalf of the narwhals to reduce the level of sea traffic in their habitat, after using mathematical analysis to identify how noise from passing boats changes the narwhals' foraging behavior.

Explaining Wildfires Through Curvature
17/10/2023 Duración: 11minDr. Valentina Wheeler of University of Wollongong, Australia, shares how her work influences efforts to understand wildfires and red blood cells. In Australia, where bushfires are a concern yearround, researchers have long tried to model these wildfires, hoping to learn information that can help with firefighting policy. Mathematician Valentina Wheeler and colleagues began studying a particularly dangerous phenomenon: When two wildfires meet, they create a new, Vshaped fire whose pointed tip races along to catch up with the two branches of the V, moving faster than either of the fires alone. This is exactly what happens in a mathematical process known as mean curvature flow. Mean curvature flow is a process in which a shape smooths out its boundaries over time. Just as with wildfires, pointed corners and sharp bumps will change the fastest.

Bridges and Wheels, Tricycles and Squares
13/10/2023 Duración: 11minDr. Stan Wagon of Macalaster College discusses the mathematics behind rolling a square smoothly. In 1997, inspired by a square wheel exhibit at The Exploratorium museum in San Francsico, Dr. Stan Wagon enlisted his neighbor Loren Kellen in building a squarewheeled tricycle and accompanying catenary track. For years, you could ride the tricycle at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. The National Museum of Mathematics in New York now also has squarewheeled tricycles that can be ridden around a circular track. And more recently, the impressive Cody Dock Rolling Bridge was built using rolling square mathematics by Thomas RandallPage in London.

Bringing Photographs to Life
28/07/2023 Duración: 11minDr. Rekha Thomas from the University of Washington discusses threedimensional image reconstructions from twodimensional photos. The mathematics of image reconstruction is both simpler and more abstract than it seems. To reconstruct a 3D model based on photographic data, researchers and algorithms must solve a set of polynomial equations. Some solutions to these equations work mathematically, but correspond to an unrealistic scenario — for instance, a camera that took a photo backwards. Additional constraints help ensure this doesn't happen. Researchers are now investigating the mathematical structures underlying image reconstruction, and stumbling over unexpected links with geometry and algebra.

Giving Health Care Policy a Dose of Mathematics
05/04/2023 Duración: 11minImelda Flores Vazquez from Econometrica, Inc. explains how economists use mathematics to evaluate the efficacy of health care policies. When a hospital or government wants to adjust their health policies — for instance, by encouraging more frequent screenings for certain diseases — how do they know whether their program will work or not? If the service has already been implemented elsewhere, researchers can use that data to estimate its effects. But if the idea is brandnew, or has only been used in very different settings, then it's harder to predict how well the new program will work. Luckily, a tool called a microsimulation can help researchers make an educated guess.

Using Math to Support Cancer Research
29/12/2022 Duración: 10minStacey Finley from University of Southern California discusses how mathematical models support the research of cancer biology. Cancer research is a crucial job, but a difficult one. Tumors growing inside the human body are affected by all kinds of factors. These conditions are difficult (if not impossible) to recreate in the lab, and using real patients as subjects can be painful and invasive. Mathematical models give cancer researchers the ability to run experiments virtually, testing the effects of any number of factors on tumor growth and other processes — all with far less money and time than an experiment on human subjects or in the lab would use.

Keeping the Lights On
15/11/2022 Duración: 14minRodney Kizito from U.S. Department of Energy discusses solar energy, mathematics, and microgrids. When you flip a switch to turn on a light, where does that energy come from? In a traditional power grid, electricity is generated at large power plants and then transmitted long distances. But now, individual homes and businesses with solar panels can generate some or all of their own power and even send energy into the rest of the grid. Modifying the grid so that power can flow in both directions depends on mathematics. With linear programming and operations research, engineers design efficient and reliable systems that account for constraints like the electricity demand at each location, the costs of solar installation and distribution, and the energy produced under different weather conditions. Similar mathematics helps create "microgrids" — small, local systems that can operate independent of the main grid.

Driving Up Air Pollution
28/06/2022 Duración: 12minKaren Rios Soto explains how mathematics illuminates the link between air pollution from motor vehicle emissions and asthma. Air pollution causes the premature deaths of an estimated seven million people each year, and it makes life worse for all of us. People with asthma can experience chest tightness, coughing or wheezing, and difficulty breathing when triggered by air pollution. One major source is gas and dieselpowered cars and trucks, which emit "ultrafine" particles less than 0.1 micrometers across. That's about the width of the virus that causes COVID19, so tiny that these particles are not currently regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Yet ultrafine particles can easily enter your lungs and be absorbed into your bloodstream, causing health issues such as an asthma attack or even neurodegenerative diseases. Mathematics can help us understand the extent of the problem and how to solve it.

Deblurring Images
19/05/2022 Duración: 10minMalena Espanol explains how she and others use linear algebra to correct blurry images. Imagine snapping a quick picture of a flying bird. The image is likely to come out blurry. But thanks to mathematics, you might be able to use software to improve the photo. Scientists often deal with blurry pictures, too. Linear algebra and clever numerical methods allow researchers to fix imperfect photos in medical imaging, astronomy, and more. In a computer, the pixels that make up an image can be represented as a column of numbers called a vector. Blurring happens when the light meant for each pixel spills into the adjacent pixels, changing the numbers in a way that can be mathematically represented as an enormous matrix. But knowing that matrix is not enough if you want to reconstruct the original (nonblurry) image.

Exploring Thermodynamics with Billiards
14/02/2022 Duración: 13minTim Chumley explains the connections between random billiards and the science of heat and energy transfer. If you've ever played billiards or pool, you've used your intuition and some mental geometry to plan your shots. Mathematicians have gone a step further, using these games as inspiration for new mathematical problems. Starting from the simple theoretical setup of a single ball bouncing around in an enclosed region, the possibilities are endless. For instance, if the region is shaped like a stadium (a rectangle with semicircles on opposite sides), and several balls start moving with nearly the same velocity and position, their paths in the region soon differ wildly: chaos. Mathematical billiards even have connections to thermodynamics, the branch of physics dealing with heat, temperature, and energy transfer.

Pinpointing How Genes Interact
21/10/2021 Duración: 14minLorin Crawford explains how he uses math to analyze interactions between genes. Your DNA (the biological instruction manual in all of your cells) contains a mindboggling amount of information represented in roughly 20,000 genes that encode proteins, plus a similar number of genes with other functions. As the cost of analyzing an individual's DNA has plummeted, it has become possible to search the entire human genome for genetic variants that are associated with traits such as height or susceptibility to certain diseases. Sometimes, one gene has a straightforward impact on the trait. But in many cases, the effect of one gene variant depends on which variants of other genes are present, a phenomenon called "epistasis." Studying such interactions involves huge datasets encompassing the DNA of hundreds of thousands of people. Mathematically, that requires timeintensive calculations with massive matrices and a good working knowledge of statistics.

Securing Data in the Quantum Era
01/09/2021 Duración: 13minAngela Robinson explains the math behind the next generation of cryptographic algorithms. Whenever you log in to a website, send an email, or make an online purchase, you're counting on your data being sent securely, without hackers being able to crack the code. Our standard cryptographic systems hinge on mathematical problems that stump presentday computers, like finding the prime factors of a very large number. But in the coming decades, powerful quantum computers are expected to be able to rapidly solve some such problems, threatening the security of our online communications. To develop new methods that can withstand even the most sophisticated quantum computer, cryptographers are using a wide range of mathematical tools, many of which were originally developed without any reallife applications in mind.

Taking the "Temperature" of Languages
06/07/2021 Duración: 17minRicardo BermudezOtero and Tobias Galla discuss the mathematics describing the evolution of human languages. The sounds and structures of the world's approximately 7,000 languages never stop changing. Just compare the English in Romeo and Juliet or the Spanish in Don Quixote to the modern forms. But historical records give an incomplete view of language evolution. Increasingly, linguists draw upon mathematical models to figure out which features of a language change often and which ones change more rarely over the course of thousands of years. A new model inspired by physics assigns a "temperature" to many sounds and grammatical structures. Features with higher temperatures are less stable, so they change more often as time goes on. The linguistic thermometer will help researchers reconstruct how our languages came to be, and how they might change in future generations.

Doing the Math
24/05/2021 Duración: 11minMath may sometimes seem as if it's comprised of countless meaningless unconnected exercises, but in reality, it's much more. It's figuring out how to do something, and, even better, why something works the way it does. The math you're doing now can open doors for you so that you can answer deep questions yourself about a subject or idea that you're interested in. Give those questions a shot and perhaps someday also help others solve their problems. Five mathematicians (Alexander DiazLopez, Trachette Jackson, Francis Su, Erika Tatiana Camacho, and Deanna Haunsperger) talk about what mathematics means to them.

Making Room for Patients
26/04/2021 Duración: 15minWe've seen that the availability of hospital beds is important during a pandemic, and it's important during normal times as well. Whether it's for emergency medical help or for a scheduled procedure (for example, chemotherapy), access to hospital space, staff, and equipment can be a matter of life and death. Mathematics helps medical center staff manage their resources more efficiently so that they are available when needed. An optimization technique called integer programming is used along with tools from statistics, probability, and machine learning to create better schedules for operating rooms, treatment centers, and the people who staff them. David Scheinker talks about the mathematics involved in hospital operations.

Fighting Fires
22/03/2021 Duración: 18minIn many places, fire seasons keep getting longer with larger and ever more destructive wildfires. Teams of mathematicians, computer scientists, meteorologists, and firefighters are working to reduce the number of large fires before they happen and to contain those that do occur. Mark Finney talks about the math involved in modeling and fighting wildfires.

Describing Dryland Vegetation Patterns
22/02/2021 Duración: 09minMath is often described as the science of patterns, which makes it a natural subject to help in the study of the underlying causes of patterns found in nature, for example, bands of vegetation that often occur on gently sloped terrains in certain neardesert ecosystems worldwide. We are starting to learn more about these bands' common properties by using mathematical models built on data, such as rainfall totals and the curvature of the terrain. Mary Silber talks about these mathematical models of vegetation bands.

Mixing Math and Cooking
25/01/2021 Duración: 24minMath's connection with cooking extends beyond the mathematical constant that sounds like a dessert. For example, using differential equations to model fluid flow and heat transfer, research teams have found how spaghetti curls as it's cooked, how to rotate a pan to make the perfect crepe (thin pancake), and the temperature setting to get the perfect steak. Mathematics helps understand cooking, and parallels it in that following a recipe can lead to good results, but asking questions like "What if we tried this?" can lead to a masterpiece. Eugenia Cheng talks about the mathematics of cooking and baking.

Cracking Open Black Boxes
27/01/2020 Duración: 18minAlgorithms can be very useful, but lately, with so much data being created and shared, and with the increase in their use in critical areas such as hiring, credit, and health care, algorithms are under intense scrutiny about their fairness. People experience the effects of an algorithm's conclusion, but the data and steps that form the basis for that conclusion are frequently hidden from them (as if inside a black box). Cathy O'Neil talks about the unfairness of most predictive algorithms.

Solving the Mystery of the Wine Legs
21/10/2019 Duración: 15minWhat causes wine legs (tears)? Andrea Bertozzi explains and describes how to generate legs.