PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University mathematician V. S.
Manoranjan has been selected to organize and present one of two American
Mathematical Society short courses to be offered at the January 2000 joint
meeting of the nation’s three leading professional mathematics associations.
His two-day short course will focus on environmental mathematics and
developing predictive models of water pollution. The American Mathematical
Society, the Mathematical Association of America and the Society for
Industrial and Applied Mathematics are meeting jointly to recognize the year
2000 being named the Year of Mathematics.
The short course will focus on mathematical models that describe the
movement of contaminants in soil and water bodies and that can be validated
using laboratory and field experimental data.
“These models can be extremely useful in making predictions where
measurements are difficult to conduct,” said Manoranjan. “Such predictive
models lead to a better understanding of contamination of water bodies and
help in devising management strategies to arrest the deterioration of water
“Contamination of ground and surface water has become a matter of great
global concern,” the WSU mathematics professor said. “Contamination of
water bodies can be due to accidental spills, application of fertilizers, or
improper disposal of medical or municipal wastes. Other problems are
phosphorous and nitrate contamination of groundwater due to fertilizers,
which can lead to eutrophication of rivers and lakes. Nitrate pollution also has
been associated with health problems such as blue-baby syndrome and
stomach cancer. Conditions such as these make it of utmost importance to
understand the problems of chemical and microbial pollution of water bodies
so that remedial strategies can be devised to improve the quality of water.”
Among the course topics will be algae blooms in lakes, contaminant transport
in groundwater, and an innovative new remediation technology using cast iron
to remove chlorinated solvents from groundwater.
Assisting Manoranjan, who is also associate dean of sciences, will be
Alexander Khapalov, assistant professor of mathematics at WSU; Kirk
Hatfield, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the
University of Florida, Gainesville; Steve Krone, associate professor in
mathematics at the University of Idaho; and Baolin Deng, assistant professor
of environmental engineering at New Mexico Tech.
The meeting, which attracts more than 1,000 mathematicians annually, will be
held in Washington, D.C., in January.