Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wildfires set the air alight (maths on YouTube)

My colleage John Dold's work on bush fires appeared in New Scientist. It explains why firefighters thought they saw the "air catching fire". There is a video with a commentary by John on YouTube (and linked on this New Scientist Blog) which includes work on the influence of the slope of the ground on the spreading of the fire. Before I had only seen frivolity on YouTube (cat herding being my favorite) so it is nice to see it used to spread the word about some really interesting and useful applied mathematics.

Since writing that I looked for maths on YouTune and came across Timothy Gowers lecture The Importance of Mathematics, which I recommend.