Mathematics-A Forever Trend

Mathematics has been important to human lives ever since the beginning of civilization.

From 6th century BC with the advent of Pythagoreans to the 15th century Renaissance period, new mathematical developments were made rapidly and continued till today.

17th century marked an exponential increase in mathematical and scientific ideas across Europe. The remarkable study of space and beyond, about the moons of Jupiter (Galileo), position of planets (Tycho Brahe) and laws of planetary motion (Kepler) was made. Thus,Applied Mathematics began to expand its’ tentacles.

In 20th century Mathematics was widespread, and it offered jobs to mathematicians both in teaching and industry. New areas of mathematics emerged like game theory, topology, measure theory, mathematical logic, operation research and numerical analysis which widened the scope of the subject in almost all disciplines.

Mathematics has played a significant role in world wars, outbreak of epidemics, in social and economic analysis and even in study of biodiversity. It is therefore may be called a “discipline in need”.

World War I – countless technological and military innovations relied on precise mathematical analysis.

Mathematical skills helped in sonar and wireless telegraphy, also helped in application of meteorology to daily military usage.

World War II – The Enigma machine made by the German was a challenge as the messages sent using it turned the problem. Later Marian Rejewski applied permutation theory and determined the electric wiring of each of the rotors used in the machine which provided great help to their armed forces and led them to win the war.

Also, mathematicians contributed to a great many of the United States decisive wartime innovations in weaponry, aeronautics, provisioning, communications and intelligence, and other areas.

“wherever you look in battle, mathematics rules” [Riebesell 1916, p.2]

It is by virtue of the work done by the mathematicians that almost all the social interactions now can be formulated into definite mathematical model which upon simulation provide various effective conclusions.

Even infectious diseases are structured and analysed. The dynamical model is well studied and used to forecast the epidemic spread and its control.

Covid 19 – almost all the countries are working on various mathematical models for the control of corona virus.The mathematical data will help the government to plan the way out. The modelling of the problem will enable to explore the possible strategies to fight against this pandemic. Also, the rate of new infections can be predicted by the model.The change in this rate is the need of the hour.

We are interested in deviation of the growth in the number of infections away from the exponential growth.

The model may require certain parameters which affect the transmission rate. These parameters would require change in lifestyle and behavior of individuals.

Social distance strategy is one of those parameters. Earlier during 1918 Spanish flu the concept of social distancing was implemented and saved many lives.

Solving a crisis like covid-19 pandemic is a multifaceted scientific endeavor. It requires mathematical, technological and medical efforts all together.

With a mathematical model we will aim at minimizing casualties and slowing down the spread of corona virus.

Therefore, even in an adverse social and economic crisis, mathematicians will stay trendy and important.

Prof. Pallavi Malik
Department of Mathematics,
University of Engineering & Management (UEM), Jaipur

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