Results of Applied Math Problems Workshop
Spring 2000

The next workshop will be announced at this web
site soon

March 31st and April 1st 2000 was the first New Mexico Tech Applied Math
Problems Workshop.  Twenty-one participants, from eight different
departments or programs, came to hear problem presentations from our two
presenters.  Twelve participants stayed on to break up into two small
groups and work on the individual problems.

The first presenter was Eric Small, from the Hydrology program.  He
presented a problem concerning the nonlinear nature of the flow of soil
on hill-slopes.  The goal was to determine a field measurable way to
check the two (linear vs. nonlinear) models.

Next, Ron Thomas, of the Electrical Engineering department, presented a
problem on the power measurement of arcing events in lightning bolts.
Power measurements from different stations did not agree, and it was
thought that anisotropies in the electric fields might be behind the

Eric's problem was basically solved.  An expansion in the ratio of
background slope to critical slope was solved, leading to a way to
actually measure this ratio.  [See Appendix I.]
Field measurements are to follow.

Ron's group didn't meet with quite the same measure of success, but they
were able to give some useful direction to experimentalists.  The
anisotropy idea seemed incapable of explaining the variations, so some
new experiments, with a source of known power and time, will give more
information as to whether it is an instrumentation problem, or
reflection of waves off the ground.