Posts from July, 2011
When mathematics professor Marlow Anderson turned his love of scuba diving into a course, “The Mathematics of Scuba Diving,” in 2001, the possible textbooks were either too technical or too simple. “They were loathe to have even a single equation,” Anderson said of the too-simple books. So he began to provide his own notes for the mathematical explorations course.
Those notes turned into a 197-page book, “The Physics of Scuba Diving,” just released by Nottingham University Press. Designed for readers who aren’t necessarily interested in “hard-core” calculus, the book explains the science and math involved in avoiding decompression sickness, the painful and sometimes fatal consequence of ascending too fast from a deep dive.
Decompression sickness — the bends — results when the extra nitrogen a diver’s body has absorbed while the diver breathes compressed air at depth leaves the body too quickly as the diver ascends. The process is described mathematically using the idea of exponential decay, which takes into account changes in pressure at various depths during a dive.
Anderson describes the history, math, and science behind the rows and columns of numbers that make up dive tables, which are designed to help divers plan safe dives. From his first scuba training more than 15 years ago, dive tables provoked his curiosity. “As a mathematician and educator, I naturally wondered: where do these numbers come from? They were obviously based on physics and mathematics somehow,” he writes. “My personal quest to understand those dive tables has resulted in this book.”
Anderson, a PADI-certified assistant instructor of diving, has dived all over the world. He recently returned from Tobago, where he encountered manta rays swimming playfully overhead during a couple of dives.
KRCC, Colorado College’s NPR-member station, took first place in the Public Radio News Directors, Inc., competition with an episode produced on the news show “Western Skies.” The episode, titled “Agriculture,” won in the Best News/Public Affairs Program category in the “small newsroom” division. The show, produced by news director Andrea Chalfin and Noel Black, originally aired on Sept. 5, 2010.
KRCC’s “Western Skies” also received a second-place award from the Colorado Associated Press in the Documentary category for the same episode. The Associated Press competition was among large market stations and not limited to public stations. The “Agriculture” episode, which sought to connect listeners with the people who produce food, interviewed people ranging from those who advocate community-supported agriculture to traditional ranchers. The full episode can be heard at: http://radiocoloradocollege.org/2010/09/western-skies-september-5-2010-agriculture/
As a first step in becoming part of the Colorado College community, President Jill Tiefenthaler is working with a small group representing trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni to help her transition into her new role. The Temporary Transition Advisory Committee will serve through the summer. Tiefenthaler’s presidency began on July 1.
“My most important goal in the first year is to understand the college and really listen to a lot of different people,” Tiefenthaler said.
The committee will provide initial input on key stakeholders, individuals, and groups that the new president should meet, and events she should attend in her first year at Colorado College to ensure that she connects with the college and its community broadly and in meaningful ways.
“Every culture is so different,” Tiefenthaler said. “A year of listening is critical, to understand our greatest strengths, our blemishes, and our opportunities for the future.”
The transition committee members are:
Jonathan Lee, Faculty Executive Committee chair
Esther Redmount, former Faculty Executive Committee chair
Jane Murphy, assistant professor of history
Brian Linkhart, associate professor of biology
Ken Ralph, director of athletics
Randy Nehls, Staff Council co-chair
Isabel Werner ’08, young alumni trustee
Heather Carroll ’89 Alumni Association Board
Emily Fukunaga ’12, student
Logan Dahl ’12, student, CC Student Government Association
Suzanne Woolsey (ex officio), Board of Trustees chair
Working Group: Beth Brooks, director of the president’s office; Jermyn Davis, chief of staff, president’s office; Steve Elder, vice president for advancement; and Jane Turnis, director of communications