MSRI and the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013

December 7, 2012. Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 has officially begun!

Read the official announcement
MPE2013 Newsroom

MSRI and the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013

MSRI is a partner in the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE2013) initiative of activities throughout the year that will showcase how mathematics can be used to understand planetary dynamics that are broadly interpreted and seen in its complexity—ranging from geophysical processes to economic and financial systems.  MPE2013 aims the power of mathematics research and interdisciplinary developments toward global issues to meet the challenges that affect the future of our planet.

On a worldwide platform, the yearlong MPE2013 initiative will encompass more than ten long-term programs at mathematical institutes, more than 50 workshops, many invited speakers and special sessions at societal meetings, numerous public lectures, the development of educational materials, art exhibits, and an international prize competition to create innovative modules for physical display and as part of an open-source virtual exhibition.  For details about the module competition, see the call for entries.

April is Mathematics Awareness Month (MAM), and this year's theme is  the "Mathematics of Sustainability." MAM includes two nationwide initiatives: Sustainability Counts provides K-16 math educators and students with a range of model lessons that connect mathematics and sustainability. Students can learn about the mathematics of energy use in their school and then develop and implement an action plan to reduce energy use. The Speakers' Bureau is a group of mathematicians, scientists, and sustainability professionals available to speak to school audiences on topics related to the sustainability of mathematics. Free posters and other resource are available.

MPE 2013 at MSRI:

Climate disruption: what math and science have to say
Public Lecture

Speaker: Emily Shuckburgh
March 4, 2013
7:30pm, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
Hosted by: Mathematical Sciences Research Institute / American Institute of Mathematics
Sponsored by:

Professor Emily Shuckburgh (British Antarctic Survey), visited the Bay Area to deliver the the second in the international series of MPE2013 Simons Public Lectures.  More Information.

Watch the video of Dr. Shuckburgh's lecture


Introduction to the Mathematics of Seismic Imaging
Summer Graduate School
July 29 - August 9, 2013

Organizer: Gunther Uhlmann (Walker Family Endowed Professor in Mathematics, University of Washington and the University of California, Irvine)

Lecturers: Allison Malcolm (Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, MIT) and William Symes (Noah Harding Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics and Director of the Rice Inversion Project, Rice University)

The goal in seismic imaging is to determine the inner structure of the Earth from the crust to the inner core by using information provided by earthquakes in the case of the deep interior or by measuring the reflection of waves produced by acoustic or elastic sources on the surface of the Earth.


The mathematical problem can be formulated as an inverse problem for the wave equation: can one recover the sound speed of a medium by measuring information produced at the boundary by seismic waves? During the first week, the one dimensional case will be studied. During the second week, the higher dimensional case will be analyzed with mathematical techniques like geometrical optics and microlocal analysis.


More MPE 2013 activities at MSRI will take place.  Please check back to see updates and further information.