Linking Differential Equations to Social Justice and Environmental Concerns


Social Justice is a concept of fair and just relationships between an individual and society. In contemporary usage it includes as well the environmental conditions necessary to foster equity in our society. In this special issue of the CODEE Journal, we feature articles demonstrating how differential equations can be applied to problems involving aspects of equity, fairness, and environmental concerns.

This special issue of the CODEE Journal is dedicated to Robert Borrelli (1932-2013), who taught at Harvey Mudd College from 1963-2013, was the founder of CODEE in 1992 and ever after its most fervent advocate. In 2013 he was still active as an Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Emeritus Director of the Mathematics Clinic at Harvey Mudd College. Borrelli had a special interest in Differential Equations, and he sought throughout his career to link DEs to real word problems. In particular, in 1972, he helped start the Math Clinic, where industries and government agencies work with groups of advanced undergraduate students on unsolved real-world problems that require imaginative, numerically oriented problem-solving skills. The Math Clinic is designed to educate engineers and scientists who will have a knowledge of the society in which they live and whose contributions after graduation reflect an understanding of society's needs.

On the human side, Robert Borrelli was known for his deep interest in equity issues. Early in his career, he established endowments at Harvey Mudd and Stanford to help minority and underprivileged students afford a college education. He himself owes it to his older brother James, who had secretly made Bob’s education possible.

Full Issue



Climate Change in a Differential Equations Course: Using Bifurcation Diagrams to Explore Small Changes with Big Effects
Justin Dunmyre, Nicholas Fortune, Tianna Bogart, Chris Rasmussen, and Karen Keene


Consensus Building by Committed Agents
William W. Hackborn, Tetiana Reznychenko, and Yihang Zhang


A Model of the Transmission of Cholera in a Population with Contaminated Water
Therese Shelton, Emma Kathryn Groves, and Sherry Adrian


The Mathematics of Gossip
Jessica Deters, Izabel P. Aguiar, and Jacquie Feuerborn


An Epidemiological Math Model Approach to a Political System with Three Parties
Selenne Bañuelos, Ty Danet, Cynthia Flores, and Angel Ramos