Institute of Mathematics for Industry


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Is mathematics useful?

Hold Date 2014-10-15 16:45~2014-10-15 17:45

Place Lecture Room L-1 (3F, IMI, Kyushu University)

Object person  

Speaker Prof. Martin Grötschel (Zuse Institute, TU, and MATHEON Berlin, Germany)

The IMI Colloquium in October
Date:Wednesday, 15 October 2014
          16:45-17:45 lecture
Place:Lecture Room L-1 (3F, IMI, Kyushu University)
Speaker:Prof. Martin Grötschel (Zuse Institute, TU, and MATHEON Berlin, Germany)
Title:Is mathematics useful?
Calculating percentages, profit margins, areas, volumes, and other simple computations are obviously useful. Is this all the mathematics that people encounter in daily life? Is there more mathematics “contained” in the products that surround us? Do industry and commerce really need mathematics? Is the mathematics taught at universities useful at all? Should it be?

I will address these questions in my lecture.

My view: Mathematics plays a very important role in the modern world and mathematicians have a much higher responsibility (than many of us are aware) in the world-wide efforts to solve the big challenges of our time. Mathematics is one of the most important intellectual endeavors of mankind but is also a versatile tool to support whatever is done in science, technology, business, society, etc. significantly.

In my lecture I can’t cover all the issues involved but will try to elucidate how a combination of application specific mathematical modeling, simulation and optimization is affecting industry and business. I will demonstrate by means of many examples where and how the mathematical methods developed in my research environment in Berlin (TU Berlin, DFG Research Center Matheon and Zuse Institute) is already affecting our lives.

IMI Colloquium Report