Mathematical and
Statistical Challenges for Sustainability

[May, 2011] A 140-page
report
edited by DIMACS faculty members Midge Cozzens and Fred
Roberts lays out a roadmap of mathematical and statistical
challenges in sustainability science. With the human
population recently having surpassed 7 billion, protecting the
earth and its resources is a shared challenge facing all of
humanity. The most pressing problems are inherently
multidisciplinary. The mathematical sciences have a central
role to play, but many mathematicians, statisticians, and
other scientists are uncertain about where mathematics can
help. To redress this, six North American mathematical
research institutes together with the U.S. National Science
Foundation, sponsored the
Mathematical Challenges for Sustainability Workshop held at the

The workshop gathered 40
leaders in the mathematical sciences to lay out a roadmap of
the mathematical and statistical challenges in sustainability
science. This report is a distillation of their work, covering
topics that include: the interrelationship between human and
ecological needs; energy sustainability; modeling and managing
human-environmental systems; and monitoring and measuring
progress toward sustainability.

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