Welcome to Math for Sustainability

This is the support website for students and instructors using the book Mathematics for Sustainability (Springer, 2018).  This website is maintained by the authors and is not in any way managed by Springer.

Mathematics for Sustainability is a text for a new kind of college math course.  First of all, it is designed from the ground up for “non math” people. Such folk regularly have to take three credits of math to fulfill a “general education” or “distribution” requirement.  The idea of this book is to build on this requirement and design a course that will help you as a world citizen in the 21st century.  Are we going to bequeath to our children a planet that’s in better shape than the one we inherited from our parents?  That is the question of sustainability, in a nutshell, and to think wisely about it you need some numbers and figures – you need a bit of math.  This book is intended to provide that.

Here are some ways that you can use this website:

  • Interactive software that can be used with the book can be found here.  This allows you to view dynamic (changing) versions of models in the book that we’ve only been able to indicate by fixed diagrams.
  • Material about student writing can be found here.  Extended writing has been an important component of the course and the resources we provide suggest one way to manage this.
  • Additional case studies, supplementing those in Chapter 7 of the book, can be found here.  There are many ways of applying the ideas in Mathematics for Sustainability and we only had space in the book for a few examples.  We’ll continue growing this section as we learn of new examples.  If you have an idea for a case study, please let us know!
  • Corrections to the book can be found here.  If you think you’ve found an error, or if you have a suggestion for improvement, please email us at comments@math-for-sustainability.com  We’ll keep the list up-to-date and aim to incorporate your comments and suggestions in the next edition.
  • Hints and solutions to selected exercises can be found here.
  • Author responses to your questions can be found here.  If you have a question about any of the material in the book, feel free to shoot us an email at comments@math-for-sustainability.com – we’ll post your question (anonymously) together with some thoughts about it.
  • Suggestions for instructors in the course can be found here.

All of these items are collections of blog posts which allow their own comments through the WordPress comment mechanism, if you wish.  Mathematical writing through MathJax is supported  (this page gives an introduction to how to use MathJax).

Enjoy the book! We are talking about serious stuff here, but we hope that you’ll also find pleasure in the unexpected power of mathematics.  Especially, perhaps, if you think you’re “not a math person”.

Workshop May 17-18, 2019

Please join us for 1.5 day workshop on Math for Sustainability at Penn State.

Math for Sustainability:

Ethical and Quantitative Reasoning

in General Education Mathematics
Friday and Saturday,
May 17,18, 2019
Penn State University Park

Sessions include

  • Perspectives and resources on teaching Math for Sustainability for a general education audience
  • Peer learning assistants in the general education math classroom
  • Math and social justice
  • Persuasive writing in general education mathematics
  • Ethical reasoning and sustainability

For more information contact Russ deForest: rfd131 at psu dot edu

Register here