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Mathematical Modeling

Polluting China for the sake of economic growth

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TechAndComputer (Apr. 27, 2012) — China's economic growth will continue to be energy-intensive and highly polluting for the foreseeable future with emissions and efficiency far below capital growth on the agenda, according to a study published in the International Journal of Global Energy Issues.

Economist Yanqing Xia of Dongbei University of Finance and Economics and the Northeast Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Liaoning has looked at almost a decade's worth of data from 30 Chinese provinces to build a comprehensive model of pollution, energy consumption and economic growth. The model offers an empirical look at the balance between economic growth, energy consumption and pollution and gives a positive outlook...

New index identifies periods when global stock markets might decline

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TechAndComputer (Apr. 5, 2012) — Researchers have found a way to measure the likelihood of global stock market losses by identifying periods in which shocks may be more likely to spread across many national markets.

This "fragility index" identifies periods in which international equity markets are more susceptible to widespread pull-backs by identifying common risk exposures. The index identifies when systemic risk exposure is high in markets across multiple countries, and...

Neural variability linked to short-term memory and decision making

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TechAndComputer (Apr. 2, 2012) — A team of University of Pittsburgh mathematicians is using computational models to better understand how the structure of neural variability relates to such functions as short-term memory and decision making. In a paper published online April 2 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the Pitt team examines how fluctuations in brain activity can impact the dynamics of cognitive tasks.

Previous recordings of neural activity...

Physicists explain the collective motion of particles called fermions

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TechAndComputer (Mar. 29, 2012) — Some people like company. Others prefer to be alone. The same holds true for the particles that constitute the matter around us: Some, called bosons, like to act in unison with others. Others, called fermions, have a mind of their own.

Different as they are, both species can show "collective" behavior -- an effect similar to the wave at a baseball game, where all spectators carry out the same motion regardless of whether they like each...

Mathematical methods predicts movement of oil and ash following environmental disasters

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TechAndComputer (Mar. 12, 2012) — Mathematical methods help predict the movement of oil and ash following environmental disasters.

When oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico in late April 2010, friends asked George Haller whether he was tracking its movement. That's because the McGill engineering professor has been working for years on ways to better understand patterns in the seemingly chaotic motion of oceans and air. Meanwhile, colleagues of Josefina Olascoaga in Miami...