Environmental Science

The long road to 0.075: a statistician’s perspective of the process for setting ozone standards

Speaker: 
Jim Zidek
Date: 
Thu, Nov 26, 2015
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
UBC Statistics Distinguished Speaker
Abstract: 
The presentation will take us along the road to the ozone standard for the United States, announced in Mar 2008 by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and then the new proposal in 2014. That agency is responsible for monitoring that nation’s air quality standards under the Clean Air Act of 1970. I will describe how I, a Canadian statistician, came to serve on the US Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) for Ozone that recommended the standard and my perspectives on the process of developing it. I will introduce the rich cast of players involved including the Committee, the EPA staff, “blackhats,” “whitehats,” “gunslingers,” politicians and an unrevealed character waiting in the wings who appeared onstage only as the 2008 standards had been formulated. And we will encounter a couple of tricky statistical problems that arose along with approaches, developed by the speaker and his coresearchers, which could be used to address them. The first was about how a computational model based on things like meteorology could be combined with statistical models to infer a certain unmeasurable but hugely important ozone level, the “policy related background level” generated by things like lightning, below which the ozone standard could not go. The second was about estimating the actual human exposure to ozone that may differ considerably from measurements taken at fixed site monitoring locations. Above all, the talk will be a narrative about the interaction between science and public policy - in an environment that harbors a lot of stakeholders with varying but legitimate perspectives, a lot of uncertainty in spite of the great body of knowledge about ozone and above all, a lot of potential risk to human health and welfare.

The Mathematics of Bats

Speaker: 
Cédric Villani
Date: 
Fri, Nov 14, 2014
Location: 
PIMS, University of Victoria
Conference: 
Hugh C. Morris Lecture
Abstract: 

2010 Fields Medal recipient, Cédric Villani, Director of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris, France, will give a Friday evening talk entitled The Mathematics of Bats.

Oceans and Multiplicative Ergodic Theorems

Speaker: 
Anthony Quas
Date: 
Tue, Mar 25, 2014
Location: 
Calgary Place Tower (Shell)
Conference: 
Shell Lunchbox Lectures
Abstract: 

In many physical processes, one is interested in mixing and obstructions to mixing: warm air currents mixing with cold air; pollutant dispersal etc. Analogous questions arise in pure mathematics in dynamical systems and Markov chains. In this talk, I will describe the relationship between obstructions to mixing and eigenvectors of transition operators; in particular I will focus on recent work on the non-stationary case: when the Markov chain or dynamical system is non-homogeneous, or when the physical process is driven by external factors.

I will illustrate my talk with analysis of and data from ocean mixing.

Mathematics and the Planet Earth: a Long Life Together II

Speaker: 
Ivar Ekeland
Date: 
Wed, Jul 17, 2013
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013
Abstract: 

When Colombus left Spain in 1492, sailing West, he knew that the Earth was round and was expecting to land in Japan. Seventeen centuries earlier, around 200 BC, Eratosthenes had shown that its circumference was 40,000 km, just by a smart use of mathematics, without leaving his home town of Alexandria. Since then, we have learned much more about Earth: it is a planet, it has an inner structure, it carries life , and at every step mathematics have been a crucial tool of discovery and understanding. Nowadays, concerns about the human footprint and climate change force us to bring all this knowledge to bear on the global problems facing us. This is the last challenge for mathematics: can we control change?
This is a two-part lecture, investigating how our idea of the world has influenced the development of mathematics. In the first lecture on July 15, I will describe the situation up to the twentieth century, in the second one on July 17 I will follow up to the present time and the global challenges humanity and the planet are facing today.
 

Mathematics and the Planet Earth: a Long Life Together I

Speaker: 
Ivar Ekeland
Date: 
Mon, Jul 15, 2013
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013
Abstract: 
When Colombus left Spain in 1492, sailing West, he knew that the Earth was round and was expecting to land in Japan. Seventeen centuries earlier, around 200 BC, Eratosthenes had shown that its circumference was 40,000 km, just by a smart use of mathematics, without leaving his home town of Alexandria. Since then, we have learned much more about Earth: it is a planet, it has an inner structure, it carries life , and at every step mathematics have been a crucial tool of discovery and understanding. Nowadays, concerns about the human footprint and climate change force us to bring all this knowledge to bear on the global problems facing us. This is the last challenge for mathematics: can we control change?
This is a two-part lecture, investigating how our idea of the world has influenced the development of mathematics. In the first lecture (July 15), I will describe the situation up to the twentieth century, in the second one (July 17) I will follow up to the present time and the global challenges humanity and the planet are facing today.

Min Protein Patter Formation

Speaker: 
William Carlquist
Date: 
Thu, Jul 14, 2011
Location: 
PIMS, University of Victoria
Conference: 
AMP Math Biology Workshop
Conference: 
IGTC Summit
Abstract: 
This talk was one of the IGTC Student Presentations.

Memory Induced Animal Movement Patterns

Speaker: 
Ulrike Schlaegel
Date: 
Thu, Jul 14, 2011
Location: 
PIMS, University of Victoria
Conference: 
AMP Math Biology Workshop
Conference: 
2011 IGTC Summit
Abstract: 
This talk was one of the IGTC Student Presentations.

Life History Variations and the Dynamics of Structured Populations

Speaker: 
Romain Richard
Date: 
Thu, Jul 14, 2011
Location: 
PIMS, University of Victoria
Conference: 
AMP Math Biology Workshop
Conference: 
2011 IGTC Summit
Abstract: 
This talk was one of the IGTC Student Presentations.

Modeling Spotting in Wildland Fire

Speaker: 
Jonathan Martin
Date: 
Thu, Jul 14, 2011
Location: 
PIMS, University of Victoria
Conference: 
AMP Math Biology Workshop
Conference: 
2011 IGTC Summit
Abstract: 
This talk was one of the IGTC Student Presentations.
Syndicate content