MAW 2001 Home
March 17, 2001
The ocean is vitally important to all of us -- as a principal driving force of the climate, a source of food and a means of transportation, among many reasons. As a consequence, scientists strive to describe the ocean -- its circulation patterns, currents, and motion -- and then to use that knowledge to predict the behavior of the ocean and assess its effects on our lives. These scientific studies rest on the use of mathematics.
Mathematicians have created the framework that enables us to model the fluid motion and temperature changes of the ocean and, using complex computational codes, to simulate these processes. Statisticians are providing tools that help make sense of the vast amounts of data collected each year by scientists around the world. In other areas, such as dynamical systems theory, mathematicians have developed methods for analyzing the complex modes of fluid transport through currents and other oceanic features.
These are only a few of the many areas of mathematics that are contributing to remarkable advances in our ability to model and to gain insight into complex physical phenomena like the ocean.
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