Mathematics & Computer Science Colloquium: April 24, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 20184:00PM - Tuesday, April 24, 20185:00PM
At Ruffner 356

Identifying Sinkholes with Curvature

Speaker: Celestine Woodruff
James Madison University

Abstract: High resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from airborne LiDAR have proven useful to map geomorphic features indicative of past geologic hazards. Sinkholes are one type of such features affecting karst areas and therefore mapping them is necessary for city planning and studying factors controlling their development. Although sinkholes are easily discernible on high resolution DEMs, due to their large number, automated mapping techniques have been investigated. ArcGIS allows automated mapping of all surface depressions which in most cases are not all sinkholes. The purpose of this work is to filter out sinkholes, which in most cases are characterized by their rounded outlines. Therefore, we have investigated methods of identifying sinkholes based on the curvature of their boundaries. This talk should be accessible to students, even if they have not yet taken Calculus 3.


Bio: Celes Woodruff received both a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a M.S. in Mathematics, with a concentration in college teaching from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She then received both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She is now an Assistant Professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and is also an MAA Project NExT Fellow. Her research has been mostly been in applications to geology, including geophysical fluid flows such as groundwater modeling and mantle convection; and more recently sinkhole identification. In general, she enjoys any applied research that allows her to investigate and implement numerical algorithms. Although she teaches a variety of courses, her favorite courses to date have been differential equations and introductory numerical methods. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and playing video games (especially the Lego games).

We meet for a social with the speaker from 3:30 to 4:00. Presentations are from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Ruffner 356. Please join us!

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