Tag Archives: sustainability

Math for Sustainability

Dear Colleague

This is to let you know that Mathematics for Sustainability is being prepared for production by Springer, and that I anticipate publication in late April or early May this year.  I write now because I know that some of you are planning courses for Fall 2018 and have asked me about the availability of the book.  It will be available! What’s more, Springer has a landing page for the book right now.  Not every detail of the page is filled in yet, but you can request an online review copy of the book now, and I encourage you to do so if you are thinking about using Mathematics for Sustainability yourself or of recommending it to your college or department.

This picture shows coauthor Russ at the Joint Mathematics Meeting holding a “mock-up” copy of the book.  I expect our final cover will be a little bit more colorful, but you can see that this book is full of content – in fact, there are 400 pages of mathematical content beginning with Units and Measurement and ending with Decision-Making and Ethics, followed by more than 100 pages of case studies and supporting material.  It’s a big book but I believe it remains accessible to our target student group: those who took high school algebra and were not especially turned on by math, but find they need some credits of “quantitative reasoning” to finish their college degree.  I have come to believe that these are students who we can and should serve better. We three authors offer this book as a contribution to that improved service,

I myself will very likely not be around to hear what use you make of Math for Sustainability. It is therefore with a sense of “passing on a legacy” that I write to tell you of its impending publication.  I hope that the book will be a useful tool, making it possible for you and others to build courses and curricula that combine elementary, serious precalculus mathematics with the sustainability theme that can focus the passions of many students.  I also dare to hope more: that reading and using Mathematics for Sustainability may become for you a source of hope and joy, as writing it has been for me and my coauthors Russ and Sara.

Yea, we all could use a little mercy now,
I know we don’t deserve it, but we need it anyhow.


We sure do.

Grace and peace


[*] Mary performs “Mercy Now” from the Music Fog studio at the 2010 Americana Music Festival in Nashville, TN. (9/9/10)

Mathematics for Sustainability website

Some readers will know that I have been thinking for a year or so about a course on Mathematics for Sustainability to teach at PSU early next year.  I’ve written regularly about this at my Points of Inflection blog, for instance here, here and here.

The official proposal for the course is wending its way through the Faculty Senate approval process.  Assuming all goes according to plan, the course will be on the books this fall, and I will offer it for the first time in Fall 2014.

I’ve created a website for this course-to-be at http://sites.psu.edu/mathforsust/.  It’s pretty much of a skeleton right now, but I plan to fill it out over the year so that it becomes a full-fledged resource for the course by next year.  So check back regularly.