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Mathematical Modeling on Cell Phone Energy Usage


Peter Bonventre, Steven Neier
Union College

April 6, 2009
5:00 pm
Bailey Hall 207

Refreshments will be served in Bailey 204 at 4:45


During the 2009 Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), we modeled the energy consequences of the cell phone revolution. We worked on various aspects of the energy consumption of cell phones by people, involving many different methods of usage including charging, standby, and manufacturing. Our process involved stages of lots of research, followed by simple models which gained complexity as we added more aspects to the solution. Overall, we modeled the energy transition from the current US usage of cell phones and landlines to a strictly cell phone infrastructure. We then modeled the ideal infrastructure for a pseudo-US based on our earlier calculations and models, and found that exclusive cell phone use was more energy-efficient than any combination of cell phones with cordless landline phones. We also modeled the energy waste of various household electronics and appliances from standby power consumption. Finally, we combined our model from cell phone energy consumption with models for US population and economic growth to determine the cell phone usage for the next 50 years. This contest was an enlightening experience that we would like to share and encourage others to participate in the years to come.

For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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