Donald Outing


First Name: Donald
Last Name: Outing


Degree: Ph.D.
Graduation Year: 2004
Major: Mathematics


Here is a press release by RPI:

A winner of Rensselaer's Joaquin B. Diaz Memorial Prize for creative research, Donald Outing knew he wanted to use math to explain simple things in nature. From his early studies in middle school, the Baltimore, Md., native enjoyed modeling physical objects, such as triangles, and looking for patterns. "I always wanted to know the 'why,' " Outing said. That led him to research how sound travels, known as acoustic propagation.

At Rensselaer, Outing carefully studied previous models describing how sound travels through water. Along coast lines, the complex contours of shallow ocean bottoms make sound travel in unexpected ways, which can hamper search and rescue efforts and distort the results of tests that use sound to measure ocean conditions, such as pollution levels or temperature. Outing tried a new approach to modeling sound waves. After rigorous testing, his model worked and it now provides the basis for a tool for scientists who study sea life and ocean conditions.

Outing earned his degree in only three years, while coaching Little League and basketball, and organizing an after-school program in math development for 7-13 year olds. "The students fell in love with using math," he said. Getting kids into math - and particularly underrepresented minorities - is all part of the fun for Outing.

"Donald's research will represent a breakthrough in shallow water sound propagation," said his co-adviser, Professor and Associate Dean Bill Siegmann. "This approach has never been used before." A major in the U.S. Army, Outing will welcome students in the fall as associate professor of math at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

by MAJ Donald A. Outing, Ph.D

My research involves using parabolic equations to model seismo-acoustic propagation in environments that depend strongly on both range and depth.  My focus is on developing and improving existing approaches to enable the parabolic equation method to efficiently solve problems involving complex range and depth dependence and variable topography.


Year Born: 1961