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The Oredigger Issue 04 - September 28, 2009

The Oredigger Issue 04 - September 28, 2009

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Published by The Oredigger
The Oredigger Volume 90, Issue 4
The Oredigger Volume 90, Issue 4

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Published by: The Oredigger on Sep 28, 2009
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 Volume 90, Issue 4September 28, 2009
News 2Features 5sports 9opiNioN - 10
~world headlines~scientific discoveries~dept preview~what’s your beef~saur given rmac honor ~pesek honored by afca ~parking services~tim’s 2 cents
satire  11
~rumor mill~lais sit-in
On September 15, Microsoftlaunched Win741.com, a site wherecollege students can get a copyof Windows 7 (Home Premium orProfessional) for just $29.99. Theoffer makes Windows 7 availablefor download once the operatingsystem launches to the public onOctober 22. However, Mines stu-dents in most departments can getWindows 7 Professional for free,along with a host of other Microsoftsoftware, due to Mines’s participa-tion in the Microsoft Developer Net-work Academic Alliance (MSDNAA)program.MSDNAA is a great alternative topaying hundreds of dollars for Mi-crosoft products on one end of thespectrum or resorting to piracy fortheir products on the other. “[I]n thepast we’ve been unable to properlyservice it because of the staff or thetime,” remarked Frank Robertson,the CCIT employee in charge of thebulk of Mines’s MSDNAA program.“It’s a much better system [now].”Signing up for MSDNAA is thetrickiest part of the process for get-ting software. The problem currentlylies in what information CCIT has“Let me start by saying, ‘I don’tthink that brain science has any-thing to do with education orbusiness.’” Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd in Friedhoff Hallthis past Thursday night, Dr. Medinaturned to leave. The assembly of educators, business owners, work-ers and students sat stunned for amoment, and then began to laugh. As Dr. Medina, renowned devel-opmental molecular biologist, re-searcher of the genetics of psychi-atric disorders, research consultantand supporter of the cooperationbetween brain researchers andbusiness and education, turnedback to the podium to begin hisdiscussion titled “BrainRules,” the audience wascaptivated. Despite thefact that researchers stilldon’t know enough aboutthe brain to understand“how a brain knows howto pick up a glass of wa-ter,” Medina explainedthat the brain functionsaccording to “Brain Rules.” Of twelve rules- concerning exercise,survival, wiring, attention, shortterm memory, long term memory,sleep, stress, sensory integration,vision, gender, and exploration, Me-dina chose to expound upon twohe felt would be most applicableto the gathered audience: exerciseand stress.
 The rst rule, “Exercise boosts
cognition against the effects of stress,” is explained even more
succinctly as “Exercise boosts
brain power.” The simple fact is,the brains of those whom lead asedentary lifestyle do not age aswell as those who lead an activelifestyle. Using comical and engag-ing examples, Medina comparedMark Wallace to Keith Richardsand reiterated that exercise boostsbrain power.Over and over again, Medinareturned to the research that showshow the “brain follows physicalrules of engagement.” In fact,Medina argued, “it appears thatthe brain has been designed tosolve problems in an unstable en-vironment, while in near constantmotion.” In fact the brain is so dis-posed towards motion, that thirtyminutes of cardiovascular exercisethree times a week for a minimumof four months can dramaticallyincrease cognitive scores in areaslike executive function and problemsolving (like math).Medina cited sources like the Turbington data that show theoptimum time for learning is actu-ally in the stage of cooling downfrom exercise. It is rare that brainresearchers and business corpora-tions and educators get together.“In fact, “Medina explained, “if youwere to design a learning environ-ment directly opposed to what thebrain naturally does, you’d designa classroom.” But Medina exploredthe exciting possibilities if that rarecollaboration were to become morecommon and a tool towards opti-mum learning behaviors. After an exciting intermissionwhere the audience was askedto stand, wave their hands in theair and “look as ridiculous” as thedistinguished molecular biologist,Medina began his explanation of the second so called “BrainRule” of the night: stress.Once again, the rule itself was straightforward andsimply stated. “Stressedbrains do not learn well. That’s not an opinion. It’ssimply the wayit works.” Thesimplicity of therule did not takeaway from thecomplexity of thetopic, and Medinareflected that bythe in depth treat-ment of the topicthrough the division intothree sectors: stress andlearning, brain held behav-iors, and “homes and par-ents and brains and otherthings that are none of ourbusiness.”Medina’s molecular bi-ology background reallyshowed as he explained thissecond rule in a way thateducators, business ownersand engineering studentsalike could understand; illuminatingthe complex relationship betweenBDNFs, glucolcorticoids, and stressthrough easy to follow metaphors of heroes and villains. Medina furtherwent on to explain that “the singlemost reliable predictor of academicsuccess is the emotional stability of the home. It has nothing to do withacademics.” Medina proposed thestabilization of the home to lowerstress in the brain, and improveacademia, but acknowledges thatthis is “an idea with no basis in re-ality,” as it would be impossible tointervene in childrens’ home lives. The goal of an engaging twohour lecture concerning “BrainRules” was to take strides in cre-ating a partnership with futurebusiness, people that work in busi-nesses and educators. Dr. Medinaexplores the fascinating possibilityof the increased cognitive abilitiesif brain researchers and educatorsgot together to implement what littlethat is known about the brain, howit works, and how it learns best.
Move over, brawn: Dr. Medina’s Brain Child has arrived
Roby Brost
Staff Writer 
 “In fact, if you were to design a learningenvironment directly opposed to whatthe brain naturally does, you’d designa classroom.” 
at their disposal when authorizingusers. “Microsoft’s intention was forthat to be your CWID or something.
I don’t have all those identiers,”
Robertson said of the situation. “SoI have chosen to just use their [ADIT 
multipass] login as their identier.”
Unfortunately, since MSDNAA is, by
denition, an outside entity, another
identifying system had to be usedin coordination with the multipasslogin.“The way wepopulated this [ac-cess list], so thatpeople don’t haveto put in a help desk request… is to takethe list of users from ADIT. So if you’reable to log into oneof the participat-ing departments’computer labs, yourname is probably in this list,” ex-plained Robertson. If a student’s de-partment has a Windows-poweredcomputer lab that requires a loginseparate from the main computerlab system, that login was put intothe MSDNAA system.“If you’re not [able], or if you’venever requested that, or if you’re amath student in particular, it prob-ably isn’t in the list. So what we’regoing to have to ask you to do…[is to] put in a help desk requestand then I’ll add you manually,”Robertson explained. Fortunately,turnaround time is less than 24hours for a manual addition of astudent’s username to the MSDNAA database via a help desk ticket. Ac-cording to Robertson, between ten
and fteen percent of students will
have to submit a help desk ticketunder the current system, thoughCCIT is working to streamlinethe process further. “What we’reworking on is trying to pull the listof students out of Banner, andintegrate this, so that not only can
we be more efcient about having
it right, but also each semester asthings change we have some wayto maintain this that doesn’t takeweeks,” Robertson explained.Once in the system, sign-upfor MSDNAA and access to theMicrosoft software portfolio is easy. A student’s full @mines.edu e-mailaddress (not MyMail) is used as theirlogin. After login, software can beselected and acquired in a matterof seconds, though downloads willtake longer due to the large sizeof Microsoft’s software. For bestresults on-campus, students shouldplug into the cam-pus wired network when downloadinganything from MS-DNAA. There is onerather importantomission from theMSDNAA-accessi-ble portfolio. “Un-
fortunately, Ofce is
not offered [throughMSDNAA],” Rob-ertson notes. “That’s their cashcow; they’re not going to give thataway.” However, another student-focused Microsoft site, www.theul-
timatesteal.com, offers Ofce 2007
Ultimate for a relatively inexpensive$59.95. Additionally, while students canget additional keys for Windows 7or other software via a quick helpdesk request, using software keyson machines not owned by that stu-
dent violates Microsoft’s End UserLicense Agreement (EULA). The
Ultimate Steal and Win741 appearnot to have such restrictions beyondthe purchase of the products offeredat each site, though the premise of both sites appears to be to combatstudent software piracy with lowprices for legal software.MSDN Academic Alliance isavailable for all Mines students viathe above process for the following
departments: Engineering, Geol
ogy and Geological Engineering,
Mathematics and Computer Sci-ence, Metallurgical and Materials
Engineering, and Mining Engineer
-ing. The Petroleum and Chemical
Engineering departments manage
their own MSDNAA site licenses,while the Physics department isaggressively pursuing Linux-basedsystems. “The departments pay forit so we really want students to takeadvantage of it,” says Robertson of the program.For more information and links tothe MSDNAA site, see http://inside.mines.edu/MSDNAA (case sensi-tive). The Mines CCIT help desk site is available at http://helpdesk.mines.edu. For comments or ques-tions on this article, visit our websiteat http://oredigger.net.
Free Windows 7 available for most Mines students
Ian Littman
Assistant Business Manager,Web Content
 “What we’re working on is trying to pull the listof students out of Banner, and integrate this,
so that not only can we be more efcient about
having it right, but also each semester as thingschange we have some way to maintain this thatdoesn’t take weeks.” 
 Leadville fall colors tour page 7 
n e w s
September 28, 2009Page 2
 w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t
Oredigger Staff 
Sara Post
Lily Giddings
Managing Editor 
Abdullah Ahmed
Business Manager 
Ryan Browne
Zach Boerner 
Copy Editor 
Robert Gill
 Asst. Business Manager for Sales and Marketing 
Ian Littman
 Asst. Business Manager, WebContent 
Mike Stone
Fool’s Gold Content Manager 
Tim Weilert
Content Manager 
Jake Rezac
Content Manager 
Spencer Nelson
Content Manager 
Neelha Mudigonda
Content Manager 
David Frossard
Faculty Advisor 
Forrest Stewart
Faculty Advisor 
Headlines from around the world
Local News
Berkeley, CA:
Researchers at theLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
have independently conrmed the exis
tence of element 114. The initial discovery
was reported ten years ago by the DubnaGas Filled Recoil Separator group, but had
not been conrmed until now. Element114, temporarily named ununquadium,
had been theorized to be a stable ‘super-
heavy’ metal – one heavier than uraniumwith a relatively long half-life. Rather than
half-lives of less than a second, which is
common with most elements heavier thanuranium, ununquadium may have a half-life of minutes or days.Eagle Scout Scott Mason, 17,
was billed $25,000 by the state
of New Hampshire after he wasfound by state ofcials after athree-day rescue effort. Masonstrayed from the trail while hiking,
and by
New Hampshire statelaw
, is responsible for the costs
of the rescue efforts used to ndhim. An amateur treasure hunterusing a metal detector in Staf 
fordshire, England, discovered an
unprecedented cache of 
 Anglo-Saxon gold
. The hoard is com
prised of more than 1500 pieces,including at least 5 kilograms of gold and 2.5 kilograms of silverand jewels.
 A trial on a newly developed
vaccine involving over 16,000participants in Thailand found that
people who were given the vac-
cine were 31 percent less likely to
, compared with the
participants who were given the
placebo. Though this is a modeststep towards nding a vaccine for
the virus, researchers hope thatthis vaccine will pave the way for
more effective vaccines.Ofcials from the Houston, Texas Society for the Preven
tion of Cruelty to Animals seized
1,045 animals
from a propertyin the area. The animals includ
ed a variety of birds, exotic rep
tiles, farm animals, cats, andothers. The owners of the prop
erty claim that they sell theseanimals at ea markets, andSPCA ofcers have said that
the property is in deplorable
 As national
increased and ended the month
Emily Trudell,
Staff Writer 
Jake Rezac,
Content Manager 
of August at 9.7%, new reportsshow that teenage unemploy
ment is also at a record high at26%.Movie star
John Travolta
tied in criminal court about the
death of his teenaged son Jett,who died a year ago after suf-
fering a seizure while the familywas on a vacation. The accusedinclude a paramedic and a Baha
mian senator who are accused of plotting to extort $25 million fromthe actor.
 After intensive studies inSoutheast Asia,
163 new spe-cies
of plants, sh, reptiles,amphibians and mammals werefound in the region. The WWFreports that climate changes anddevelopment in the region could
potentially threaten these newly
discovered species.
Roughly 50 people are dead
in Indonesia from ood
-ing caused by
Tropical Storm Ketsana
. Over41,205 people have sought ref 
uge from the downpours, andnearly 4000 people required res
cue by boat.
medical emergency he-licopter
carrying three peoplecrashed in Georgetown, SouthCarolina two hours after dropping
off a patient at in Charleston. All
three people aboard were killed,
and the National Transportation
Safety Board is investigating the
crash. This crash occurred oneday after the NTSB recommend
-ed that the Federal Aviation Ad-
ministration require more trainingfor medical helicopter pilots. The funeral for
 Annie Le
, theslain Yale student, was held Sat-
urday. Her funeral was attendedby over 600 of her family, friendsand peers, including her ancé,Jonathan Widawsky.
A new HIV vaccine has been shown
to effectively reduce the infection of HIV in 16,000clinical trial participants. The trial, which was spon
sored by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, de
termined that the vaccine is safe and 31% effectivein preventing HIV. Although the vaccine success
-fully prevented the spread of HIV, it did not reduce
the amount of HIV cells in infected party’s bloodstreams.
Bristol, England:
Paleontologists have foundfossils of the oldest-known feathered-animal.
 An-chiornis huxleyi 
, the newly discovered dinosaur, is
estimated to be between 1 and 11 million years olderthan the oldest known bird. Feathers covered eachof the dinosaur’s limbs, indicating that early iersused 4 wings rather than 2. Feathers also coveredthe dinosaur’s feet, indicating that it lived in trees.
Providence, Rhode Island:
Re-searchers have found evidence of water
molecules on the surface of the moon. The concentration of water on themoon’s surface is not known, but it maybe as high as 1,000 parts-per-million. The discovery may indicate that mobilewater molecules migrate to the polar re
gions of the moon, where they are frozenin craters.
Najibullah Zazi, an Afghanborn Coloradan, has been ar-
rested and is being questionedregarding his alleged attempt toconstruct a bomb for use on theanniversary of 9/11 in New York.Kristen Diane Parker, a sur
-gery technician, has pled guilty to
ten of the 42 charges against her
in the case against her spread of 
the Hepatitis C virus. She is ac
cused of tampering with medica
-tions given to patients and con-
taminating them.Colorado School of Mines’Jesse Dennis has been namedthe 2009-10 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Pre-Season Men’s Diver of the Year.Kevin Shaw was named to theMen’s Swimming & Diving Pre-Season All-Conference team.CSM men’s cross countryteam is ranked at seventh inUSTFCCCA Division II NationalRankings.CSM women’s soccer teamdefeated Mesa State by a score
of 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at
the CSM Soccer Stadium to
sweep the regular-season series
against the Mavericks.CSM men’s soccer team
posted a 3-0 shutout victory overUC-Colorado Springs on Sunday
September 28, 2009Page 3
 w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t
Mines math professor Dr.Willy Hereman described a newalgorithm he and his colleagueshave created for finding conser-vation laws of nonlinear partialdifferential equations (PDEs) toan audience of Mines faculty andstudents at last Friday’s Mathand Computer Science collo-quium.Hereman began his lecture,titled Symbolic Computation of Conservation Laws of NonlinearPartial Differential Equations, bydiscussing the concept of con-servation laws.“A conservation law is basi-cally a constraint which tells youhow a change in time relates toa change in [space],” Heremanexplained. “If you were to look at cars on a highway... you couldmeasure [the density of cars]. The change in density is nothingmore than the amount of carsbetween point a and point b...and this depends on the inflow atpoint a with the outflow at pointb.” A conser-vation law,Hereman ex-plained, canmodel thisflow of traffic. The most famous conserva-tion laws are the laws of con-servation of mass, energy, andPacking into the Student Cen-ter Ballrooms, Mines studentsand alumni came bright and earlyto sacrifice their beautiful Satur-day to attend the Second AnnualLeadership Summit. The day-long conference was designed tobuild into students the necessaryleadership skills needed in theengineering world. Through sev-eral presentations and breakoutsessions, students were encour-aged to take charge and actuallydo something.First, keynote speaker Dr.Calvin Mackie spoke very di-rectly to the crowd. “HurricaneKatrina was the worst engineer-ing disaster in American history,second worst in the world behindChernobyl,” exclaimed Mackie,a New Orleansresident. “Thearea effectedby HurricaneKatrina was thesize of GreatBritain.” Afterdetailing thedevastation of Hurricane Katrina, Mackie ex-plained why it was relevant: anextraordinary incompetency of the leaders on all levels. Thisdisheartening account was thenmixed in with the story of how hewent from being a poorly educat-ed, injured high school basketballplayer who’s SAT score in the low800’s had him going nowhere to There is an old Balti proverb
along these lines: “The rst time
you share tea with a Balti, youare a stranger. The second timeyou take tea, you are an honoredguest. The third time you share acup of tea, you become family...”Greg Mortenson, author of the
New York Times
Three Cups of Tea
, is a man ona mission. Through his humani-tarian organizations Penniesfor Peace and its parent orga-nization the Central Asia Insti-tute, Mortenson has managedto garner international supportand was nominated for a NobelPeace Prize earlier this year.With the intention of inspiringColoradoans to humanitariancauses, Mortenson & Co. gavea presentation at Red Rockscalled “Journey of Hope.” Thenight played out with a varietyof presentations and songs. Among the presenters wereseveral young people (rangingin age from 12 to 24 years old)who started their own causes. A few video clips were pep-pered throughout the evening’sevents, including a statementfrom Colorado US Senator Mark Udall andan inter-view withnews-caster TomBrokaw. These sto-ries did not
fall at on
the crowd,but instead began to inspire thespectators toward greater ac-tions. The night’s events culminat-ed in a brief presentation fromMortenson himself. Along withsome assistance from his chil-dren, Mortenson detailed howhe began his work and his cur-rent goals. “First I had to sell mycar, my home, then my climb-ing gear, and my books,” saidMortenson, “and after a year Ihad only raised $3,000 of the$12,000 I needed to build aschool.” He then described howa fourth-grade student helpedhim by collecting 62,000 pen-nies. It was experiences likethese that inspired Mortenson tobegin Pennies for Peace.“If we wanted to, we coulderadicate global illiteracy withinthe next 15 years. It soundslike a lot of money, but it wouldonly cost $6 billion a year for 15years, only about $5 a monthper child.” He proposed thatthere are enough pennies in theUS alone to achieve this goal.Mortenson’s overarchinggoal relates to building schoolsfor girls in the Middle-East andcentral Asia. Why girls? Accord-ing to an African proverb quotedby Mortenson, “When you edu-cate a boy, you educate an indi-vidual. When you educate a girl,you educate a community.” Hebelieves that the greatest fear insome of the war torn parts of theworld is not the bullet, but thepen.“Educating girls, at least to
a fth grade level, does three
important things. Number one:it reduces infant mortality. Sec-ond, it also reduces the popu-lation explosion. Finally, when agirl learns how to read and write,she teaches her mother how toread and write.” There were sev-eral other reasons and storiesthat Mortenson shared, howeverthere is not room for all of thosein this article.“The good news is there aresome really good things hap-pening in Afghanistan. In 2000,there were 800,000 in school inthat country, mostly boys duringthe height of the Taliban. Today,nine years later, there are 8.4million children in school in Af-ghanistan, including 2.5 millionfemales.It hasbeen thegreatestincreasein schoolenrollmentin anycountry inmodernhistory. Unfortunately, nobody inthe US is aware of it.”Perhaps one of the most in-teresting revelations from thepresentation was the statementthat Mortenson believes that American military leaders trulygrasp the ideas he proposed in
Three Cups of Tea
. Unlike mem-bers of the State Department,people such as General Petrae-us have been in the region longenough to actually built relation-ships with the people of Afghani-stan and central Asia.Overall, the presentation wasmore than a collection of sto-ries. It was a demonstration of what life can look like in extremecircumstances. Not extremelike skydiving or snowboarding,but extreme in regard to visionand humanity. These messagesstruck a chord for the peoplehuddled beneath sandstonemonoliths at Red Rocks. Per-haps, as engineers, we couldlearn a lesson in civics from peo-ple such as Greg Mortenson.
Students, alumni, facultydevelop leadership skills
Spencer Nelson
Content Manager 
turning down $50,000 and the job of a lifetime to continue hiseducation with a doctorate in hy-drodynamic stability from Geor-gia Tech. All these things led towhere he is today, being part of the Louisiana Recovery Author-ity and the chair of the LouisianaCouncil of the Social Statue of Black Boys and Black Men, ontop of numerous accomplish-ments. As vital as the technical back-ground is, Mackie pleaded withstudents to aspire to more and tobe great leaders. Students needto take charge and be dreammakers. Mackie’s infectious pas-sion inspired students to findwhat they are passionate about.Once this passion is established,Mackie wants them to pursue itand make a difference. His chal-lenge to the students was, “If Ican do all this, just imaginewhat you smartpeople cando.”FollowingMackie, Presi-dent Scog-gins gave his10 qualities of a leader, such asintegrity and being a good com-municator and being decisive. These 10 qualities then tied intohis 10 qualities of the GlobalEngineer, a vision held for whatMines engineers should look likeafter leaving.Merging in, a panel discus-sion took place where PresidentScoggins and Dr. Mackie were joined by Alan Harrison, the VicePresident of the Denver Regionfor Williams, and Tammy Berber-ick, the president of the corporateconsulting firm, Focus on Execu-tion. The discussion focused onseveral aspects of leading, rang-ing from some of their greatestfailures as leaders to the impacttheir parents had on them. After lunch, three roundsof breakout sessions were of-fered with topics such as “TimeManagement-Tips for Success,”“Starting with the Face in the Mir-ror,” and “Leadership is Calling: Are You Listening?” These ses-sions, lead mostly by faculty fromMines and leaders in the corpo-rate sponsors, were designed toaddress specific topics that maychallenge students with their cur-rent organizations and eventuallyin their careers as engineers. The Summit concluded with agoal setting session, led by Ser-ena Stickney of the CSM Alumni Association and Co-Chair of theLeadership Summit. The attend-ees were encouraged to fill out aform that clearly laid out personalgoals that should be done in aspecified period of timeIn all, the Second AnnualLeadership Summit did not givestudents the “magic pill” of beingleaders, as one of the breakoutsession speakers termed. How-ever, it certainly laid out a cleardirection for students to becomeleaders in industry and to make adifference in the world.
 Author spreadshope at Red Rocks
Tim Weilert
Content Manager 
Mortenson has managedto garner international sup-port and was nominated for aNobel Peace Prize earlier thisyear.
Jake Rezac
Content Manager 
momentum, which can be de-rived from the Euler equations of compressible, non-viscous flu-ids. However, for certain PDEs,infinite amounts of conservationlaws can be found. Some, Her-eman explained, are physicallymeaningful, while others are sim-ply helpful for doing mathemat-ics.“Say you man have a physi-cal model... [but] you don’t knowwhat is con-served,” Here-man explained.Finding con-servation lawswould be help-ful in this case. Hereman added,“You may use these in numericalintegration of these PDEs... [or]as a precursor for testing [if aPDE is solvable].”Conservation laws come intwo parts: densities and fluxes. The problem in computing con-servation laws algorithmicallyis that these two parts dependon each other and cannot befound with traditional solutiontechniques. A breakthrough byHereman andhis fellow re-searcherssolved thisproblem.“It’s achicken and egg situation,” Her-eman explained, “so I’m going touse the oldest trick in the book; The key in mathematics is to pre-tend you know the answer. SoI’m going to pretend I know thedensity. This is similar to what wedo in the ODEs class, where weassume we know the form of thesolution.”By assuming the form of den-sities, and relying on a propertyof many nonlinear PDEs calledscaling invariance, an algorithmwas created by Hereman and hiscolleagues tofind conserva-tion laws. Oncethis was done,an algorithmicway to integrateany integrable function wasneeded. A operator from the fieldof algebraic topology, the homo-topy operator, was used for thistask.“I still need to integrate byparts repeatedly,” Hereman ex-plained, “and I don’t want to dothis by hand. I need somethingsystematic to do this, and that’sthe homotopy operator: it doesintegration by parts. Thus, thereis an algorithmic way to computefluxes and densities.”Hereman ended his talk bydemonstrating a Mathematicaimplementation of the algorithm,built mostly by Mines adjunctprofessor Doug Poole. The pro-gram easily and quickly foundconservation laws for many non-linear PDEs.
Solving by saving
Conservation allows algorithmic solution of PDEs
 “The key in mathemat-ics is to pretend youknow the answer. “
 “For certain PDEs, infnite
amounts of conservationlaws can be found.” Mackie pleaded withstudents to aspire tomore and to be greatleaders.

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