American Institute of Mathematics Food Systems Modeling Workshop

Palo Alto, CA, USA
2015-04-27 – 2015-04-30
Stanford University

Overview: This workshop built a conceptual model of the U.S. food system, and elaborate a research agenda for continuing model development. This is a key component of a large-scale project to develop a hierarchy of models for food systems around the globe at multiple spatial and temporal levels.

Program: The overarching goal was scenario testing to inform intervention strategies for improving sustainable food and nutrition security for all people. One extreme of the model hierarchy will consist of complex systems of coupled, detailed models of food system activities. At the other extreme, and the focus of the proposed workshop, will be conceptual models of the food system as a whole, providing the structural overview and framework for building models with gradually increasing levels of details. It is critical that mathematicians be full partners from the early stages, to help identify structures, intrinsic in the food system that can be mathematically exploited to ensure that models across the hierarchy can interface in mathematically robust ways. We need the intensely interactive, cooperative, transparent atmosphere of an AIM workshop to bring together a cross-disciplinary team of scientific experts, stakeholders and mathematical modellers in a way that will generate lasting collaborations amongst the mathematics and food systems communities.