Brussels, 19 Mar 2004
The participants in a new project on 'New and emerging themes in industrial and applied mathematics' (NETIAM) are hoping that their work will 'raise awareness of how mathematics can be used in the formulation of unexplored multidisciplinary research challenges and more generally,' the project's manager has told CORDIS News.
Melvin Brown from the Smith Institute, which is coordinating the project, put this aspiration into context, saying: 'It is interesting to note that in the first calls of the FP6 [...], the word 'mathematics' appeared only once (in an IST cognitive systems call). Given the ability of mathematics to explore, properly formulate and provide solutions to problems across a very wide range of applications, this is surprising and perhaps alarming.'
The project is funded under the New and emerging science and technology (NEST) activity of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), and has the objective of identifying research fields and collaborations 'of high adventure and opportunity'. The project will address four areas:
- new multidisciplinary challenges in modelling the business environment;
- modelling criminality in the social environment;
- challenges in visualisation and simulation for virtual materials analysis and design;
- complexity at the molecular level.
At the same time, NETIAM will engage the research community in identifying future research opportunities and build awareness of the NEST activity.
'Mathematics has a great untapped potential as a foundation for building adventurous and multidisciplinary research proposals. Its conventional use is as a tool for analysis and qualitative modelling in well-specified areas; NETIAM will focus on a much earlier stage in the process, namely where mathematics can be used as a framework for the formulation of unexplored research challenges,' said Mr Brown. 'In this way, it will directly support NEST's aim to anticipate needs in new and emerging areas.'
The four themes to which mathematical models will be applied during the project are very different, and were selected as areas of particular emerging opportunity for the development and use of mathematics for the formation of new multidisciplinary collaborations. Applying mathematical models to the business world may lead to the development of desktop risk management systems, enabling sustainable growth and improving competitiveness. Modelling criminality in the social environment may lead to the construction of models of collective behaviour, with the ultimate aim of advising on the governance of this behaviour, as well as tools for understanding and predicting crime. Workshops will be organised around each theme.
For further information on NETIAM, including details of the workshops, which are open to all, please consult the following web address: