A rich world

Mathematics is a fundamental discipline that has always been at the heart of important issues relating to the complexity of the Earth and, more especially, the environment. Understanding research issues as well as problems of sustainable management requires the adaptation of mathematical techniques in interaction with other disciplines. However, seeking solutions to environmental problems can also give rise to the development of new mathematical theories. These essential exchanges between disciplines gradually lead to a better understanding of the complexity of the world we live in.

This complexity is reflected in the diversity of the topics studied: the applications to concrete problems, relating to the world that surrounds us, from genetic evolution to fluid turbulence. Emphasis is also put on mankind and his interaction with the ecosystem. We focused on the interactions between different processes and different scales by considering mathematics as a discipline that cuts across multiple fields of knowledge. Thus, the thinktank does not intend to be exhaustive but rather to demonstrate the diversity of mathematics’ role by considering a number of carefully chosen examples. Throughout the website, we make references to all the texts written by the different researchers. For those who wish to find out even more, you can download the reports but also read the specific texts you are interested about.

Within this wide-ranging field of interest, the MathsInTerre Thinktank organised different topics according to three themes: Human World, Living World, Fluid World. Although this website and the written summary has been divided into three parts. All of these parts each present a different point of view, reflecting the diversity of mathematics:

Mathematics in the real world focuses on the point of view of researchers, whether mathematicians or not, working on questions relating to the world we live in.

Emerging mathematics focuses on the point of view of researchers working on the development of new branches of mathematics on the basis of questions raised by the study of the planet Earth.

Numerical mathematics focuses on the point of view of researchers in numerical mathematics, who are often at the interface between theory and applications.

It goes without saying that the topics and themes are not independent of one another. This arbitrary division is a choice made for the sake of clarity but at the same time it also reflects the problems of relational boundaries between the different actors. This brings us to the final part Structural action planswhich presents a number of suggestions for concrete action that are likely to promote collaboration and the exchange of information between mathematics and the other disciplines. These proposals provided the basis for different discussions between concerned specialists and researchers. They were adopted unanimously by the consortium associated with the Thinktank.

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