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2016 Levi Conant Lecture by Daniel H. Rothman (MIT) - "“Earth’s Carbon Cycle: A Mathematical Perspective”"

Friday, September 23, 2016
4:00 pm
Salisbury Labs, Room 104
United States
Floor/Room #: 

Dear WPI Community,

It is a great pleasure to announce the next Levi L. Conant lecture at WPI, celebrating the awardee of the 2016 American Mathematical Society (AMS) Levi L. Conant prize: Professor Daniel H. Rothman, Professor of Geophysics and co-director of the Lorenz Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Levi L. Conant prize is awarded annually to recognize the best expository paper published in either Notices of the AMS or the Bulletin of the AMS during the previous five years.

The title of Dr. Rothman’s lecture is “Earth’s Carbon Cycle: A Mathematical Perspective”.
Abstract: The carbon cycle represents metabolism at a global scale. When viewed through a mathematical lens, observational data suggest that the cycle exhibits an underlying mathematical structure. This talk reviews two types of emerging results: evidence of global dynamical coupling between life and the environment, and an understanding of the ways in which smaller-scale processes determine the strength of that coupling. Such insights are relevant not only to predicting future climate but also to understanding the long-term co-evolution of life and the environment, the stability of the Earth system, and causes of mass extinctions.

The lecture is Friday, September 23rd, 2016  at 4:00 pm in Salisbury Labs 104. Refreshments will be served at 3:30 pm. Everyone is welcome.

About the speaker: Daniel H. Rothman received his undergraduate degree in applied mathematics from Brown University in 1979 and his PhD in geophysics from Stanford University in 1986. He is currently a professor of geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has been on the faculty since 1986. In 2011 he cofounded the Lorenz Center, an interdisciplinary research center at MIT devoted to developing the foundations of climate science. Rothman was a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study in 2007–08. He has also been honored as a fellow of the American Physical Society (2012) and the American Geophysical Union (2014). His research spans several  fields—including fluid mechanics, complex systems, and earth-system dynamics—in which he uses methods of applied mathematics and statistical physics to learn how the natural environment works.

About Levi Conant: Levi L. Conant was a mathematician and educator who spent most of his career as a faculty member at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was head of the Mathematical Sciences Department from 1908 until his death, and served as interim president of WPI from 1911 to 1913. Conant was noted as an outstanding teacher and an active scholar. He published a number of articles in scientific journals and wrote four textbooks. His estate provided for funds to be donated to the AMS upon his wife's death.


Luca Capogna
Professor and Head
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

View the 2016 Levi Conant Lecture by Daniel H. Rothman (MIT) that was given on September 23, 2016