Due to the impacts of massive data and artificial intelligence (AI) to the modern technology, it is the time to have some adjustments of our mathematical society to this trend. Personally I believe that in order to have breakthrough and leading the world in both subjects the help of mathematics is needed. The question is how we identify the problems so that people in two different fields (mathematicians along with engineers) can work together. Of course, it depends on how we can convince people in other fields, such as AI, willing to share their problems with us.
There are two crises for the future of our mathematical society, one is that basic mathematics learning is not being taken seriously as before and the other is that less young talents are willing to devote themselves to the advanced mathematics studies. Due to the tightness of teaching jobs in universities, few students are willing to pursue their Ph.D. degrees. Since there will be a big portion of professors retired in ten years, it shall be very hard for universities to hire good professors in mathematics in the near future. On the other hand, people have forgotten the importance of analytical reasoning ability to all subjects and this ability can only be established through the learning process of basic mathematics. The key is the learning process not the mathematics knowledge itself. Our kids need more time on mathematics.
We all know the importance of interdisciplinary studies and researches in modern technology, in particular, in mathematics. The question is how we carry it out. For this, I do not mean to pay less attention to the fundamental studies and researches in mathematics. On the contrary, it is very important to strengthen our basic (or classical) mathematics training to our new generation in order to be ready for jobs in industrial and business and to be excellence in the scientific researches. This must be done through the reform of our curriculum from undergraduate to graduate levels. For example, we may leave more freedoms for our students to learn other fields after two to three years’ basic training in mathematics. At the same time, based on our mathematics knowledge, we should spend more time on the interdisciplinary studies and researches through the interactions with natural sciences and social sciences, such as biology, physics, chemistry, engineering and business. Leading by professors, we hope to get more chances to join some projects in industry and business. This would create more job opportunities for our students other than teaching jobs.
By Jong‐Shenq Guo, July 23, 2018