math of the future: fewer computers please

memory, all alone in the moonlight

i’m not sure if i disagree with this prediction out of frustration because i’m much more of a fan of pure math or if i truly believe the contrary. for me, applied math brings back memories of bunny population problems in calc 4 aka ordinary differential equations. if the future really brings a blurring of pure math, i would hope it would do so more because mathematicians collaborate and reason across disciplines.

it seems sort of a safe prediction to me to say that the advent of powerful grid computing will help mathematicians solve problems in fancier ways. that’s a cop out because software will still be buggy, hardware will still deteriorate, and ultimately it’s down to the programmer/mathematician to code something up that would help her. grid computing has some incredibly cool applications, putting together huge high def photos being one of the coolest, but it’s not a band-aid for boring old problem solving and proof writing.

i think the whole thing smells of the math vs. comp-sci department debates that happened halfway through the last century. perhaps i’m just a jaded girl with a math degree, but please if you are making predictions for the future, spice it up a bit!

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