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Mathematics and industry need to talk in Brazil

by ace
Mathematics and industry need to talk in Brazil

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They say that Henry Ford, a pioneer in the auto industry, ordered a dynamo for his cars, but the device did not work, and the supplier could not solve the problem. Ford then called "the most intelligent man in America," Hungarian mathematician John von Neumann, of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton.

Von Neumann looked at the diagrams, walked around the dynamo, took a pencil out of his pocket and marked a line on the wrapper: "If you cut it here, it works". They cut, and the dynamo worked.

When Ford asked for the bill, von Neumann sent a note worth $ 5,000, a huge sum for the time. Surprised, Ford asked for details. Von Neumann replied: mark the line with the pencil, 1 dollar; know where to dial the line, $ 4,999. Ford paid.

That knowledge is money (and power) is an old lesson. The 2nd World War was won by the North American industrial power, based on scientific and technological knowledge. And the United States has never stopped importing the best brains in the world from countries less capable or less careful to preserve their relevance and independence.

Brazil at the time realized and did its homework, building a national scientific system (CNPq, Capes, which would be followed by Finep, Ministry of Science and Technology, the state foundations), at the same time that it triggered its industrialization.

The material value of science is widely proven and measured. Take the case of mathematics: technical studies carried out in recent years in several countries (United Kingdom, France, Australia, Holland and Spain) prove that economic activities with a high mathematical content generate a large part of the national wealth: around 15% of GDP.

Producing knowledge is essential, but it is also necessary to incorporate it into the production processes. Data released by Fapesp's scientific director, professor Carlos Brito Cruz, point out that collaboration between academia and industry has been growing in Brazil, but there is still enormous potential to be explored. Especially when it comes to mathematics, it seems clear that the dialogue between the two sectors is still far behind the countries mentioned.

This dialogue does not arise spontaneously, it needs to be built, and urgently. It is with this objective that Impa will hold, on February 13th and 14th, the first Mathematics and Industry Workshop, in partnership with the Center for Mathematical Sciences Applied to Industry at USP. It is about bringing companies to interact with researchers, identifying areas of collaboration and building partnerships that benefit both sectors and the country.

What is at stake is no small matter: 15% of Brazil's GDP is R $ 1 trillion. Per annum.

(tagsToTranslate) mathematics (t) accounts (t) education (t) higher education (t) industry (t) auto industry (t) fiesp (t) industrial revolution (t) science (t) GDP (t) sheet

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