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Science Meets Popular Culture Series
"Snap! The Math Behind Why Thanos Was Wrong"
Amanda Laubmeier, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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What would actually happen if half of the world’s population disappeared in an instant? The supervillain Thanos went to extreme lengths for this outcome, but would his plan work to prevent overpopulation? Without an infinity gauntlet of our own, we have to rely on theoretical tools to answer this question. 

The study of “population dynamics” reveals the factors that lead to long-term population outcomes, such as the extinction of some species and the explosive growth of others. These outcomes are determined by a population’s behavior or changes in its surrounding environment. In contrast, the long-term size of a population is seldom determined by its current size. This is best demonstrated by invasive species, which can overwhelm an ecosystem even when introduced at very low levels.

In this presentation, we consider the mathematical principles behind this idea and apply tools from “population dynamics” to investigate the merit of Thanos’ plan.


Posted:
4/12/2021

Originator:
Julie Barnett

Email:
julie.barnett@ttu.edu

Department:
Library

Event Information
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Event Date: 4/14/2021

Location:
Online


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