Caves and Equations

Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is the largest cave in the world, with more than 390 miles of passageway and new discoveries adding several miles to this total each year.

Spelunkers compete to explore it, early 1900s farmers competed to sell it, and now the best minds in math and physics compete to explain it.  For centuries, researchers have understood the basics: caves form when water trickles through tiny rock fractures. But the question has still remained: how does a small flow of water erode rock fast enough to make 300-mile tunnels? Now, an answer emerges from a series of math equations. This discovery has applications in everything from the safety of dams to the fate of nuclear waste. Read the full article here.

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.



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Dr. Cary Oberije, a postdoctoral researcher in The Netherlands, has found that mathematical models can be used to accurately predict patients' responses to treatment. Prediction models were used to analyze lung cancer patients' likelihood of survival and...

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