*Patterns
in Environmental Math*

*Math
12, Section 1*

*MWF 1.10-2pm, DGH 216*

*UPDATE PAGE WITH INFORMATION FOR EACH CLASS*

**Taught jointly with Drs. McGowan and Schwartzman
**

HOWARD UNIVERSITY

Department of Mathematics

Course: Patterns in Environmental Math (3
credits)

**COURSE DESCRIPTION: **This course teaches some basic concepts of
mathematics through applications from environmental science, in particular the
science of energy, while providing the necessary background on energy related
issues. It will use online (Blackboard) assignments using Tegrity, guest
lectures, one field trip and a course project.

**REQUIRED TEXT**:
Martin Walter, ÒMathematics for the Environment.Ó

**COURSE GOALS: **

1.
To enable
the student to apply his or her knowledge of linear, quadratic, exponential,
and logarithmic functions and their graphs, basic probability theory and
statistics, and arithmetic and geometric sequences to real world problems
concerning energy and the environment.

2.
To gain the
background knowledge needed to describe and discuss alternative energy theory
and applications sufficiently to be prepared for training in careers in the
solar and wind energy industries.

**STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES: ** On completion of the course, students
should be able to

á
Interpret
and use graphs of polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions arising in
real world situations involving energy and the environment.

á
Interpret
and apply probability theory to simple questions related to the environment.

á
Apply the
compound interest formula for geometric sequences to the problem of financing
energy projects.

á
Explain the
cause of about climate change and its effect on the environment

á
Describe the
basic math and science of energy conservation, solar and wind energy production,
and demonstrate simple computations involving these principles.

**PREREQUISITE: **A
satisfactory grade in College Algebra I.

Instructors:
Jill McGowan, David Schwartzman and Sankar Sitaraman

**EVALUATION**:

2
one hour exams 15 % each Total 30 %

Assignments Total 25 %

Feedback
on class activities Total 5 %

Final
Exam 20 pts Total 20 %

Seminar
presentation Total 20 %

Grand
Total 100
%

**Academic Code of Student Conduct (please see Howard University handbook):**

No copying, unauthorized use of calculators, books, or other materials, or changing of answers or other academic dishonesty will be tolerated. Cheating will not be tolerated. Anyone caught cheating will receive an F for the course and may be expelled from the university.

AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT: Howard University is committed to providing an educational environment that is accessible to all students. In accordance with this policy, students in need of accommodations due to a disability should contact the Office of the Dean for Special Student Services (202-238-2420, bwilliams@howard.edu) for verification and determination of reasonable accommodations as soon as possible after admission and at the beginning of each semester as needed.

**Statement on Interpersonal Violence:** Howard University takes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual harassment seriously. If a student reveals that he or she needs assistance with any of these issues, all responsible employees, including faculty, are required to share this information with the University Title IX Office (202-806-2550) or a student can be referred for confidential services to the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program (IVPP) (202-238-2382) or the University Counseling Services (202-806-6870). For more information, please go to www.CampusSafetyFirst.Howard.Edu

**Syllabus, including guest speakers and
course projects**

References:

MIT open course ÒPhysics of
Energy.Ó

Van Jones ÒGreen Collar EconomyÓ

Self-directed learning modules
created by the instructors using Tegrity (on Blackboard).

*Course format*:

The approximately 40 class
meetings will be divided as follows:

3 exams

2 guest lectures

1 field trip

32 lectures (see individual
topics for distribution of lectures among us)

2 student
seminar days (in class).

*Course material*:

__Part 1. Ecosystems and climate
change__ (8 lectures + 1 guest talk )

Guest lecture 1: Expert on
ecology & climate change

(Possibly Mark Chambers,
Associate Director for Sustainability, DC General Services
department).

Aim: To provide background
information on the environment and climate change using applications of basic
math concepts.

Topics:

1.
Feedback
loops: Edison's Algorithm: Listening to Nature's
Feedback. (lecture to be accompanied by (T) module on feedback and renewable
energy)

2.
Effect
of human activities on ecology, effect of ecological disturbances on human
society: Suburbia's Topology (accompanied
by (T) module on effect of fossil fuels on urban environment).

3.
Mathematics
and basic science of resource availability, energy needs :
Hubbert's Peak and the End of Cheap Oil ( accompanied by (HW)
assignment on Resource Wars: Oil and Water ).

4.
Energy
and climate change : The CO_2 Greenhouse Law of Svante Arrhenius (accompanied by (HW) or (T) radiative energy forcing law).

5.
Probability
and statistics laws and properties (accompanied by (T) module on probability
and climate change).

__Part 2. Basics of energy
conservation__ (10 lectures )

Aim: Building on the foundations
from part 1, we outline the practices that help to conserve energy and hence
protect the environment.

Topics:

1.Energy conservation.
Mathematics and science of energy use: Energy and the First Law of Themodynamics, Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics,
Measuring Entropy, Applications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

2. Sustainability practices, recycling and
zero waste movement, nature conservation, overview of technology available for
energy efficiency for homes and cities. (accompanied by (HW) : research
campus building energy use and survey energy efficiency and sustainability
measures on campus, possibly in collaboration with Office of Sustainability)

__Part 3. Basic math and science of wind, solar
and biofuels __

(16 lectures + 1 guest talk + ~~ ~~one field trip)

Guest lecture 2: Expert from solar industry / solar installer

( Possibly Joshua Rodgers of Sustainable Energy Systems)

Field trip: Local Solar / Wind installation

Topics:

1.
Energy:
calculation of energy and power from various sources (accompanied by (T) module
on units of energy and conversion)

2.
Amount
of Solar Energy

3.
Solar
Energy Methods

4.
Photovoltaics and solar thermal: overview of technology, basic data on
efficiency and capacity of various systems.

5.
Geometric
sequences, compound interest formula and its applications.

6.
Study
of cost and financing options for solar and wind.

7.
Net
Primary Productivity, Soil, Biofuels, and the Super Grid.

8.
Overview
of other technology available for renewable energy generation, such as biomass,
geothermal, tidal.

__Part 4. Course project (to be developed jointly)
and Seminars.__

Students will be divided into research groups. Each group shall
develop in consultation with instructors a small, local project that can be
completed within the semester, related to or originating from one of the
lectures, learning modules or assignments. Development should start in the
second month of the semester and continue concurrent with course. Once project
is completed, the student group will give a seminar presentation to the class
describing the project.