This could be considered the century of computational mathematics. One consistently encounters it in the most diverse fields, from epidemiology to neuroscience, e-commerce and physics, even internet art, and of course artificial intelligence, as well as in current affairs like domestic politics (Russian interference in US elections) and foreign politics (China's use of big data to control domestic public opinion). We will discuss the role of computational math in our developed (?) societies, the math that lies behind the engineering and social phenomena of our time; what are the power and the danger of computational math; the strengths and the weaknesses of a civilization that is increasingly based on it. Since it is everywhere, and we are increasingly surrounded and dependent on it, it is important to understand what it is and how it is evolving. It is a little bit the "magic" of our time. We all talk about algorithms but we don't really know what's inside an algorithm. We just assume that some wizards know the secret potion, and hope that the secret potion will make us immortal while fearing that the secret potion will poison us.
Speaker: Margot Gerritsen, Stanford
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