Inexplicable Tragedy

The disappearance of flight MH370 and the capsizing of the Sewol Ferry are devastating events. The anguish of the families and the suffering of those onboard these vessels is painful to contemplate. The events seem inexplicable, yet there are scientific principles involved. We must understand these principles if we are to prevent a repeat of these tragedies.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a series about the science and math behind these crises. The intent of my posts is to explain how these things were possible. Why? I believe we cannot purposely avoid in the future the mistakes we did not understand in he past.

In the case of flight MH370, the reality is that there is no sure way to know where the plane wound up. There are, however, a number of new applications in mathematics that were devised and tested in trying to answer this sad question. What are those methods and what part will they play in the future?

In the case of the Sewol Ferry, it’s been clear from just about the start that this was an accident waiting to happen due to the wanton and reckless disregard for the physics at play. What factors were known and should have been recognized? What systems were in place to mitigate these factors, yet were circumvented? How can we ensure it’s not possible to circumvent them in the future?

I hope you’ll come back and read my posts.

– Gina


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