UM mathematics professors develop new jet-lag app

(From UM News Service) … A different kind of jet-lag mobile app released today by University of Michigan mathematicians reveals previously unknown shortcuts that can help travelers snap their internal clocks to new time zones as efficiently as possible.

“Overcoming jet lag is fundamentally a math problem and we’ve calculated the optimal way of doing it,” said Danny Forger, a professor of mathematics at the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. “We’re certainly not the first people to offer advice about this, but our predictions show the best and quickest ways to adjust across time zones.”

The new iPhone app, called Entrain, is believed to be the first to take a numbers-based approach to “entrainment,” the scientific term for synchronizing circadian rhythms with the outside hour. It’s based on new findings by Forger and Kirill Serkh, a doctoral student at Yale University who worked on the project while an undergraduate at U-M.

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Reported by Nicole Casal-Moore from University of Michigan News Service