Mathematics for the Environment

Martin Walter

January 18, 2011 by Chapman and Hall/CRC
Textbook - 679 Pages - 54 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781439834725 - CAT# K11565


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  • Explains how mathematics can be used to understand and hopefully solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, including the recent financial meltdown and interrelated energy and climate crises
  • Includes numerous applications, from population and economic models, epidemics, financial mathematics, and DNA computing to climate change, pollution, solar energy, and media literacy
  • Requires good comprehension of high school-level mathematics
  • Offers many problem sets within each section
  • Encourages the use of spreadsheets to help with problem solving

Instructor materials on CD-ROM available with qualifying course adoption


Mathematics for the Environment shows how to employ simple mathematical tools, such as arithmetic, to uncover fundamental conflicts between the logic of human civilization and the logic of Nature. These tools can then be used to understand and effectively deal with economic, environmental, and social issues. With elementary mathematics, the book seeks answers to a host of real-life questions, including:

  • How safe is our food and will it be affordable in the future?
  • What are the simple lessons to be learned from the economic meltdown of 2008–2009?
  • Is global climate change happening?
  • Were some humans really doing serious mathematical thinking 50,000 years ago?
  • What does the second law of thermodynamics have to do with economics?
  • How can identity theft be prevented?
  • What does a mathematical proof prove?

A truly interdisciplinary, concrete study of mathematics, this classroom-tested text discusses the importance of certain mathematical principles and concepts, such as fuzzy logic, feedback, deductive systems, fractions, and logarithms, in various areas other than pure mathematics. It teaches students how to make informed choices using fundamental mathematical tools, encouraging them to find solutions to critical real-world problems.


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