Thursday, February 3, 2011

Very Applied Math

From John D. Cook's site
“Applied math” has come to mean math that could be applied someday. I use the term “very applied math” to denote that subset of applied mathematics that actually is applied to real problems.

My graduate advisor used to say “Applied mathematics is not a subject classification. It's an attitude.” By that token, I'd say that very applied math is also an attitude, an interest in the grubby work required to see the math actually used and a willingness to carry it out. This involves not just math but also computing, consulting, managing, marketing, etc.