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Mathematical Firepower (and Cash) Key to Solving Computing Problems


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Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's (CSIRO's) Louise Ryan says increasing funding for mathematical sciences is essential for the development of computer-based research. "In recent years, funding has been cut to support the quantitative sciences," Ryan says. "This is critical, it's fundamental, it underlies every other field of science and you can't cut corners by cutting funding for mathematical research and training."

Ryan oversees CSIRO mathematical and statistical scientists working on applications in agriculture, light metal production, environmental modeling, genetics, supercomputing, financial risk, and transport logistics, among others. The researchers provide mathematical and statistical modeling to support a variety of national projects. Ryan says these areas require very sophisticated mathematical and quantitative techniques to characterize unique situations, as well as sophisticated computing platforms to run these simulations. "If you don't have those really strong underpinnings in the mathematical, statistical, and quantitative sciences, you can't get to the applied answers that you need," she says.

Ryan says committing more money to the development of advanced computing technology could help Australia keep up with the demands of modern science. "The ability to transmit and gather information is just changing at an exponential rate," she says. "And so our statistical and mathematical fields have to evolve to be able to handle that data and that's where that very advanced computing comes in." She says Australia also must maintain a cutting-edge professional environment to prevent young and talented Australian scientists from looking for work in other countries.

From Computerworld Australia
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