Why maths helps solve tomorrow’s big challenges

Mathematics

By Angela Mathis, Chief Executive, ThinkTank Maths Limited.

Angela Mathis

The challenges humanity faces, of which many are due to the ever-increasing population on the planet and our relentless demands on natural resources – energy, water, food, or our desire in greater numbers to travel faster and further, means we must find solutions urgently that address the vast levels of complexity they pose.

Indeed, industry too vitally needs graduates with new and different mathematical and lateral-thinking skill sets.

Therefore, ThinkTank Maths Limited in Edinburgh created a 4-day workshop in June entitled, “Which Mathematicians for Tomorrow’s Big Challenges?” with the support of the Peter Higgs Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

The workshop brought together ThinkTank Maths’ Researchers and the ‘Higgs Masters’ students, and sought to help the students discover new routes, new mechanisms of reflection, and their impact in the extraordinary quest of a researcher to decipher Reality and to find solutions to the challenges it poses for mankind.

There is a mathematical approach taught and familiar to most students – the ‘academic method.’ The ThinkTank Maths team set out to share its understanding and 10-years’ experience in working to solve real-world problems via other methods….

Feedback from the students indicated that the workshop indeed resulted in them seeing mathematics in a different, often surprising, light. Several said the workshop had opened for them new mathematical horizons and helped them find renewed excitement and imagine many opportunities for mathematics in the context of their future professional lives.

Most participants also agreed that the workshop was a refreshing opportunity to organise themselves and work as a team, with an insight into the rewards and effectiveness of collective thinking and working, rather than working as a “lone star”.

To find out more about ThinkTank Maths Limited and their achievements visit their website.

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