October 14, 2010
Title: Modelling a cadaver decomposition island to estimate time of death, a case study in industrial mathematics.
Abstract: Propagation of fluids from a decomposing cadaver produces a characteristic stain on the landscape known as a cadaver decomposition island or CDI. What is required is a model to predict how this fluid propagates through the soil and whether or not it is feasible to use as a predictor for the time of death of the cadaver. As well as addressing these issues we will systematically go though the modelling process to identify the dominant processes that are involved. Along the way we will determine not only the gross characteristics of the CDI development, but also show how one can refine the model to account for rainfall or other processes in the soil. The talk will be accessible to any fourth-year Science student as long as they are not too scared by the occasional differential operator.