The Mathematical Sciences in 2025 (2013)
The vitality of the U.S. mathematical sciences enterprise is excellent. The discipline has consistently been making major advances in research, both in fundamental theory and in high-impact applications. The discipline is displaying great unity and coherence as bridges are increasingly built between subfields of research. Historically, such bridges have served as drivers for additional accomplishments, as have the many interactions between the mathematical sciences and fields of application. Both are very promising signs. The discipline’s vitality is providing clear benefits to most areas of science and engineering and to the nation. The opening years of the twenty-first century have been remarkable ones for the mathematical sciences. The list of exciting accomplishments includes among many others surprising proofs of the long-standing Poincaré conjecture and the “fundamental lemma”; progress in quantifying the uncertainties in complex models; new methods for modeling and analyzing complex systems such as social networks and for extracting knowledge from massive amounts of data from biology, astronomy, the Internet, and elsewhere; and the development of compressed sensing. As more and more areas of science, engineering, medicine, business, and national defense rely on complex computer simulations and the analysis of expanding amounts of data, the mathematical sciences inevitably play a bigger role, because they provide the fundamental language for computational simulation and data analysis. The mathematical sciences are increasingly fundamental to the social sciences and have become integral to many emerging industries.