A/Prof. Lewis Mitchell (University of Adelaide)

On applied mathematics and data science

Data science has become one of the ”buzzwords” of the past 10 years, in both scientific and industry contexts. Perhaps frustratingly for some applied mathematicians, it involves many of the same core skills of applied mathematics: real-world applications, mathematics, computation, and importantly, modelling. Is data science merely a rebranding of applied mathematics for the 21st century? Worse, does it pose an existential threat to the discipline of applied mathematics? In this talk I’ll attempt to define data science, and discuss some of its similarities and differences to applied mathematics, illustrating with examples from my own research. Far from being an existential threat, I will argue that data science and applied mathematics have many synergies, and that the two disciplines can work together and interact for mutual benefit.