2013 har av den Internationella Matematikerunionen IMU utsetts till the Year of mathematics of planet Earth. I senaste nyhetsbrevet från ICMI - International Commission on Mathematical Instruction kan man läsa:
Our planet suffers from excessive use of its natural resources, from desertification, from pollution of the earth and the oceans. The above causes hunger and affects public health, life expectancy, and bio-diversity. Climate change, whether man made or not, is already causing extreme events and disasters. Man made systems, like transportations flows, health systems, or financial organization, are becoming more and more complex and sometimes run out of control. These phenomena have raised public awareness and influence the agenda of governments, of international bodies, and of science policy leaders.
It is clear that addressing the above issues should start with scientific research and advanced technological development. Every high-school student understands that the solutions require study and research in the exact sciences like chemistry, physics and geology, in the life sciences like epidemiology, genetics and zoology, and in engineering. It is not clear whether every high-school student is aware that beyond all of it there is mathematics.
The high-school teachers need to demonstrate that there is mathematical modeling and algorithms behind water resource management and hydrological forecasting; behind energy generation, preservation and allocation; behind weather prediction, fluid dynamics, forecasting extreme events (tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes) and risk management; behind analyzing complex systems (like transportation and finance); behind understanding epidemic spread and virus infections; and behind ecological conservation. Curriculum planning should take this into consideration, and policy makers should be strongly aware of it.
The mathematics behind our responses includes a wide spectrum of mathematical fields, from complex analysis to numerical analysis to stochastics, statistics, probability, ergodic theory, game theory, catastrophe theory, projective geometry, algebra, and scientific computing.
Therefore the International Mathematical Union declared the year 2013 as The Year of Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE). In terms of education systems this means presenting posters and models in schools, special issues of mathematical magazines, interactive web activities, and teachers conferences on the theme. In terms of mathematics education national societies 2013 should be a time of presenting to the public and creating platforms for financing mathematical programmes. In terms of ICMI, it can mean special round tables at our conferences, curriculum development via study groups, interdisciplinary conferences jointly organized with other mathematical and science and science education societies and other organizations. We need to remain aware that effective Mathematics and Mathematics Education are necessary in order to protect our planet, our lives, and our futures.
Mina Teicher, Vice-President of ICMI, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nyhetsbrevet innehåller i övrigt bl a annonsering av en kommande rapport från UNESCO om "The challenges of mathematics education in basic education" och information om kommande konferenser.
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