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Mathematics Awareness Month will be observed at East Central University in April with a Chalk Art Competition and a guest speaker.

The ECU Math Club and Art Club will sponsor the Chalk Art Competition from noon until 2 p.m. April 3 [FRIDAY] on the campus mall. Artists must be current ECU students, and designs must be mathematics-related. Winners will be announced and cash prizes awarded at 2:30 p.m.

Entry forms are available on the Department of Mathematics website or from Dr. Anne Fine, professor of mathematics, at

In addition, Dr. Lisa Mantini of Oklahoma State University will speak on "Latin Squares, Orthogonality and Sudoku" puzzles at 11 a.m. April 17 [FRIDAY] in Faust Hall Auditorium. This event is sponsored by the Department of Mathematics, the ECU Math Club and Pi Mu Epsilon honorary society and is open to the public.

Each year the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics sponsors Mathematics Awareness Month to recognize the importance of mathematics through written materials and an accompanying poster that highlight mathematical developments and applications in one particular area.

The American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics selected "Mathematics and Climate" as the theme for this year's Mathematics Awareness Month.

One of the most important challenges of our time, many scientists say, is modeling global climate. Some of the fundamental questions researchers are currently addressing are how long the summer Arctic sea ice pack will survive and how much the sea level will rise as ice sheets melt, as well as if human activities affect climate change and how global climate is monitored, and whether hurricanes and other sever weather events are getting stronger.

Calculus, differential equations, numerical analysis, probability and statistics are just some of the areas of mathematics used to understand the oceans, atmosphere, and polar ice caps, and the complex interactions among these vast systems.

Indeed, mathematicians say, analyzing feedback effects is a crucial component of global climate modeling and often a significant factor in long-term predictions. For example, warmer temperatures cause ice to melt, exposing more land and water, so that more sunlight is absorbed, instead of being reflected, in turn leading to more warming.

Mathematics, computer science and other sciences are inextricably linked, and each is required to begin to solve the fundamental questions about earth's climate, particularly those concerning global warming, mathematicians and scientists say. Moreover, they add, math and science are central to the development of both traditional and alternative energy sources, and to the evolution of other strategies for mitigating the effects of climate change.

Resources for this year's Mathematics Awareness Month program can be found

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