This is a guest post composed as part of the NSF Science: Becoming the Messenger Workshop in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Earth, Wind & Fire in our days is more than music. It is a vital resource for your daily life. Earth, wind and fire are the oil/bio-fuel, wind and solar energy sources. We need energy, and we need it cheap. Imagine how your life will be if your electricity bill is cut into half, and your car runs on electricity. It is a vision and we can make it happen if we know how to optimally manage these three energy sources in all regions at all times. The supply of these sources vary with time and space, and the demand for energy varies with time and space. The variation of supply and demand make the management of these resources the greatest challenge.
We need a plan to manage these energy sources and provide them continuously to the general public. How do we compute such a plan? Computers can compute such a plan, but the math although simple, will require the computers to calculate millions of years to find a good plan if done naively.
We need to compute such a plan, and we need to compute it in few hours. We can not wait for millions of years. When a power plant fails, we need to update the plan to continue the energy flowing to the public.
Support for the research in algorithms is fundamental to realize our vision. We need research to optimize the computational steps for generating good plans for managing resources, and the research needs your support.
Links to this Post
- UNL | UNL News Blog | In The Frame, The Glory | March 10, 2011