Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Summer school
Top issues
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Parents and kids
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed
a-b c-d e-h i-l m-n o-r s-u v-z index
Keith J Devlin
professor of mathematics at Stanford University, executive director of the Centre for the Study of Language and Information, and executive director of Media X

In early times, the primary driving forces for the development and application of new mathematics were cartography and navigation, astronomy and architecture. From around the 16th century, the main drivers were physics and physics-based engineering. In the twenty-first century, biology and the human sciences will become the primary driving forces for the development and application of new mathematics. So far, we have seen some applications of mathematics in these fields, some quite substantial. But that has involved old mathematics, developed for other purposes. What we have not yet seen to any great extent are new mathematics and new branches of mathematics developed specifically in response to the needs of those disciplines. In my view, that is where we will see much of the mathematical action in the coming decades. I suspect that some of that new mathematics will look quite different from most of today’s mathematics. But I really don’t have much idea what it will look like.

Keith Devlin is author of books including he Math Instinct: Why You’re a Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats and Dogs) (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and Sets, Functions, and Logic: An Introduction to Abstract Mathematics (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website

Survey home
What we found
Survey responses
RSS feed
Anjana Ahuja
Michael Baum
Peter Cochrane
Richard Feachem
Frank Furedi
Michio Kaku
Ken MacLeod
Jonathan Meades
Munira Mirza
Matthew Parris
Ingo Potrykus
Roger Scruton
Ben Shneiderman
Lionel Shriver
Raymond Tallis
Peter Whittle
Josie Appleton
David Baulcombe
Claire Fox
William Higham
Paul Lauterbur
William Graeme Laver
Ken MacLeod
Fiona McEwen
Victor Stenger