Motivated Mathematics

Aubin, J.-P. (1983). Motivated Mathematics. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-83-084

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Mathematics seems to be treated at IIASA as if it were some sort of shameful disease, carefully hidden away in departments labelled with trendy but unrevealing names. Any debate about the role of mathematics and mathematicians at IIASA appears fated to be confused by the introduction of many seemingly unrelated issues, by the fact that many of the protagonists have their own vested interests to protect, and by the fact--why not admit it--that there are many dark fears of the more "esoteric" side of mathematical activity.

This paper is an attempt to clarify some issues regarding the role of mathematics. It is not a plea to increase the proportion of IIASA's budget (8%) allocated to mathematical research; it is rather an analysis (which attempts to be as honest as possible) of the uses, abuses and limitations of mathematical metaphors, particularly in the so-called soft sciences.

If there is a plea, however, it is to support the development of motivated mathematics. This is one activity in which IIASA could truly claim to be a pioneer, since it is an aspect of mathematical development that has been sadly neglected over the past decades.

It is time for mathematicians to come out into the open!

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: System and Decision Sciences - Core (SDS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:53
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:11

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