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]]>ⲣresent here at tһis webpage, thankѕ admin of

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]]>I learned yesterday that the members of the combinatorics group in the Computer and Information Sciences department will be moved to the Mathematics department. Probably the best outcome in the circumstances. I had no official response to the petition, not even an acknowledgement, so I don’t know whether it had any effect.

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]]>Many thanks to the more than 500 who have signed already. Permit me to quote another comment I have received, from Rachel Traylor:

I’d like to express my formal and professional support for the combinatorics

research group at the University of Strathclyde. I’m aware that departments

are always facing budgetary issues and sometimes have to make tough decisions.

However, I believe the closing of this research group to be a long-term

mistake in general. The value of mathematicians doesn’t evaporate with the

progression of technology and technologists. If anything, those fundamental

experts become more valuable.

The value of mathematics research is many-fold. Firstly, the financial

long-term value is one of the greatest of all disciplines. Pick any

technology today, and its current form would not exist without the

mathematics that formed its foundation, even if those foundations were

laid decades prior. Mathematics may not be the sexy landscaping people

see from the curb, but it’s the reason the houses stand. Don’t sacrifice

the foundation.

Secondly, as in all pure sciences, the discipline has intangible value as

well. A strong set of pure mathematics adds to the prestige of the university

(which does have secondary financial benefits), as well as provides good

support to the rest of the departments and the university itself. Students

taking mathematics courses from mathematics professors will benefit from our

unique perspective in the long run.

Finally, the value of mathematics has a human element. Just like the world

would be more stale without art, literature, and music, we would lose some

of our humanity without pure mathematics. Mathematics departments will never

be as large a profit margin as a business or law school; that’s a fact. But

more beyond that, pure mathematics lets us explore and create, just as art

and music do. It’s part of who we are as a species, and the inspiration pure

mathematics provides as well as its inherent beauty helps to bind humanity

together in a good way. It inspires artists, engineers, technologists,

teachers, and many others.

The department may be forced into a terrible choice from administrative

pressure. If that is the case, please let my testimony be considered to help

argue what may be an administrative ultimatum.

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]]>Dr. Ing. Bohdan Hejna, ICT Prague

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