Snapshots of Modern Mathematics

Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach, ISSN 2626-1995, explain mathematical problems and ideas of present relevance in an accessible and understandable way. They provide exciting insights into current topics of the mathematical community for everyone who is interested in modern mathematics, although varying in difficulty.

The snapshots are written by participants of the scientific program at the MFO, who volunteer to explain an important aspect of their research. A team of editors selects the manuscripts that are most suitable for a broad readership and assists the authors in communicating complicated matters to a broad audience. In some cases, the authors are asked to submit their manuscript to a journal for more advanced readers. The MFO publishes the snapshots for free download under a Creative Commons license here and on the IMAGINARY platform.

The snapshot project is designed to promote the understanding and appreciation of modern mathematics and mathematical research in the interested public world-wide. The targeted readership consists of mathematics teachers, science journalists, undergraduate and advanced high school students. If you are interested in writing a snapshot, please contact the organizers of the program in which you are participating.

Editors' choice

No. 21/2019: Is it possible to predict the far future before the near future is known accurately?

by Martin J. Gander

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It has always been the dream of mankind to predict the future. If the future is governed by laws of physics, like in the case of the weather, one can try to make a model, solve the associated equations, and thus predict the future. However, to make accurate predictions can require extremely large amounts of computation. If we need seven days to compute a prediction for the weather tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, the prediction arrives too late and is thus not a prediction any more. Although it may seem improbable, with the advent of powerful computers with many parallel processors, it is possible to compute a prediction for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow simultaneously. We describe a mathematical algorithm which is designed to achieve this.

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