MPE2013+ Workshop Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) 2018
Organized by Dr. Margaret (Midge) Cozzens, Distinguished Professor / Associate Director, DIMACS Rutgers University Dr. Gene Fiorini, Truman L. Koehler Professor of Mathematics, Muhlenberg CollegeMuhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania
06/10/2018 - 06/14/2018
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
This Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013+ (MPE2013+) workshop will expose faculty teaching undergraduates to current applications of mathematical and computational sciences and provide an opportunity for government or industry professionals to learn about recent research in related areas. The topic will be presented over the course of 3.5 days in series of lectures and activities; participants will be involved in research activities that they and their students can continue with after the workshop.
Topic: Mathematical and Computational tools for Decision Making
Not in My Backyard explores how mathematical tools can be used to consider social and environmental justice when making decisions like where to put a toxic waste dump. Often such facilities are located in economically depressed areas, based on priorities that further disadvantage those who are already disadvantaged.
Similar to issues of toxic waste are issues of destruction of views such as the building of dunes along the Atlantic Ocean and others. For example, some residents and businesses of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard have opposed the construction of Cape Wind, a proposed offshore Wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Proponents cite the environmental, economic, and energy security, the benefits of clean renewable energy, while opponents are against any obstruction to the views from oceanfront vacation homes and tourist destinations based in the region. Similar to the situation in Nantucket Sound, Mass., a minority of residents in St. Lucie County, Florida have vehemently opposed the construction of wind turbines in the county. The construction of the wind turbines is strongly supported by over 80% of county residents according to a 2008 Florida Power and Light poll. Additionally, the power company proposed building the turbines in a location on a beach near a prior existing nuclear power plant owned by the company
The workshop will provide background in decision theory and discuss recent developments that emphasize the role of discrete mathematics in decision theory. It focuses on three topics which directly apply to NIMBY issues. The first is the transitive simple majorities problem of determining the maximum number of linear orders on n candidates that prevent the occurrence of cyclic majorities when voters’ preferences are confined to those orders. The second involves the varieties of unique solutions to simple systems of n — 1 linearly independent homogeneous linear equations in n variables of types that arise from qualitative equivalence comparisons in the measurement of subjective probabilities and utility differences. The third topic describes a computer-efficient hierarchy of stochastic-dominance relations for comparisons of risky alternatives whose outcomes lie in a unidimensional set of evenly spaced points.