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Maths of Planet Earth | Limitless Applications

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Published on November 23rd, 2012 | by Stephanie

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Surf and Stats unite to save lives

What do you get when you mix a mathematician with the great Aussie surf and a statistician? New techniques to help save lives!

After the tragic death of 14-year-old Matthew Barclay in March this year, Bond University mathematics and statistics professors – both keen lifesavers and surfers –joined forces with Surf Life Saving Australia to start work on a “Surf Safety Index”.

With Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Bond University and Queensland’s oldest ironman, Neville de Mestre, joined forces with his colleague both at Bond and on the beach, Gary McCoy, to develop an index.

The index will be used to scientifically quantify ocean conditions on event days.   It uses a range of factors from competitor ability to wind gusts and tide changes. Allowing judgments to be made for various categories levels at various times throughout the day.

A full article, including interviews can be read online at The Australian.  Professor de Mestre has also written papers on the Mathematics of Bodysurfing; a Catalyst report can be viewed here.[subscribe2]

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