‘Queen of the Sciences’
With the spotlight shining ever more strongly on research in the sciences and engineering at U.Va., it is important to appreciate the fundamental role that mathematical theories play in creating data and in evaluating results. Without a sound basis in mathematical science, advanced research in medicine, astronomy, physics and engineering could not move forward. Mathematicians are partners in these fields and are leading the way in developing the theoretical constructs to advance our knowledge.
Mathematics department chairman Ira Herbst (right) notes that Albert Einstein found pure mathematics so important that he referred to the field as the “Queen of the Sciences.” This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and it is increasingly clear that a sophisticated knowledge of mathematics is necessary for cutting-edge science and engineering in our complex world.
According to Herbst, from number theory, which insures safe transmission of credit card information for example, to analysis of higher dimensional manifolds used in string theory, to stochastic differential equations used to price derivative securities, modern abstract mathematics can be applied to many unusual and unexpected research situations. U.Va.’s mathematics department is involved in a wide array of these exciting applications and developments.
This story first appeared in the fall 2005 Explorations, online at http://www.virginia.edu/ researchandpublicservice/publications/explorations.html