Sunday, March 13, 2011

Osher on Mathematicians and Engineers

From Stanley Osher's talk:
Main thing to do as applied mathematicians it to be willing to listen to the other person's language, try to understand and translate it into something that makes sense mathematically. Engineers are very clever, when you talk to engineers in many different fields, they have an algorithm that works, they don't know why it works, it's not rigorous, but it's great. Then your job is to figure out how to generalize it and make mathematics out of it. That happened [to us] many, many times. Lots of fantastically successful algorithms came from the intuition of engineers, then they were made precise later by mathematicians.

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