Education: Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking In both science and engineering, mathematics and computation are fundamental tools for representing physical variables and their relationships. They are used for a range of tasks such as constructing simulations; solving equations exactly or approximately; and recognizing, expressing, and applying quantitative relationships. Click on the icons (below right) to view other standards.
   Asking Questions and Defining Problems Developing and Using Models Planning and Carrying Out Investigations Analyzing and Interpreting Data Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Engaging in Argument from Evidence Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

In this clip, Dr. Gary Lagerloef discusses how scientists were able to use Aquarius data to observe major freshwater events in the Amazon River outflow and the Bay of Bengal.
Discharge of the Mississippi River at Belle Chasse, LA

Dr. Gary Lagerloef uses data collected from NASA's Aquarius satellite to show ocean processes taking place in the Gulf of Mexico (September, 2011).
Temperature and salinity graphs from Argo Float #7572

Argo floats measure salinity at pre-programmed depths on a regular schedule, sending data back to oceanographers to view. Dr. Fred Bingham walks us through what that data might look like when visualized from month to month and this gives us an idea of how salinity varies throughout the year.
Graph of brightness temperature vs. sea surface temperature

Dr. Yi Chao explains how satellite technology has evolved throughout the years to deal with the challenge of measuring ocean salinity from space.
Temperature and salinity profiles in the SPURS region

Simply gathering oceanographic data is not enough: scientists must then translate that data into something they can see and interpret. Learn how by watching this video!
Eric Lindstrom and the WHOI surface buoy

Dr. Eric Lindstrom explains the complex features of the sensor web used during SPURS and their functions within the web. He talks about the technology used in each of them (many use satellite-tracking) and the kinds of data that can be collected from them.

There are surface drifters and wave gliders, so what constitutes a seaglider? Dr. Fred Bingham tells us in this clip, and shares how these drifters helped researchers to better understand the SPURS region.
Schematic of ARGO profile operation

Dr. Stephen Riser explains what an Argo float is and how it has increased scientists' knowledge of global ocean salinity since its implementation.
Prawler mooring

Dr. Fred Bingham introduces a specific type of instrument that "crawls" up and down a mooring line. The importance of this new technology, as well as what can happen if things go wrong, are discussed in this clip.
Fresh pool evolution

In this clip, data from a Lagrangian Float - as well as its interpretation - are shared.
Freshwater budget in the SPURS area

In this clip, Dr. Tom Farrar describes his research with surface seawater fluxes and what it means to create a salinity "budget" for the SPURS study site.
Soil moisture and ocean salinity (SMOS) satellite

Drs. David Le Vine and Gary Lagerloef explain how remote sensing has evolved throughout the past few decades, focusing specifically on ocean salinity research in the 2000s.
Seaglider dive path

This clip highlights the mechanisms by which a seaglider, a popular type of oceanographic research equipment, moves throughout the ocean and how it is able to collect and transmit data to satellites in space.
Annual average salinity in the North Atlantic

In this clip, Ph.D student Julius Busecke explains shallow overturning circulation and uses the North Atlantic Ocean, home of SPURS, as a case study. He also gives viewers a glimpse at some preliminary results gleaned from a recent cruise to the SPURS.
Sea surface salinity for the SPURS region

Dr. Fred Bingham talks how using both satellites and in-situ equipment is creating a more accurate picture of processes occurring in the salty Atlantic.