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Fostering a new generation of China's mathematical experts

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-12 07:22
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An audience member asks a question. [Photo by Cheng Zhao/For China Daily]

As a related field of applied mathematics, artificial intelligence has recently attracted widespread attention. Yau believes that AI cannot be completed without mathematics, and the mathematics discipline will also usher in new opportunities and challenges in the era of AI.

Challenging the viewpoint that "mathematicians will be replaced by AI", he said that AI cannot replace top mathematicians because the data collected by AI tools are all based on human thinking. Therefore, new breakthroughs cannot be achieved at the current stage.

Yau said that if we want to achieve a real breakthrough in the field of AI, applied mathematicians in China must have a deeper understanding of basic mathematics.

"Only by steadily doing basic research and forging one's own path can we fundamentally solve the 'bottleneck' issues," Yau said.

Yang Aicong, a high school student in the second year of Fudan University affiliated high school, loves mathematics and has won a silver medal in the national middle school mathematics Olympiad.

After listening to Yau's lecture, he said: "Mathematics is a subject that I am very interested in. When choosing my major in university, and in the future, I have made the decision to study combinatorial mathematics."

"As a student of data science, we need to have a clear understanding that the underlying mathematical foundation of data science is modern probability theory and statistics," said Ding Zepeng, a graduate student of the big data college in Fudan University, after listening to the lecture.

He added that facing the current AI trend, students and researchers should not only keep up with research in cutting-edge fields and broaden their horizons, but also settle down to solidify mathematical and theoretical foundations.

The Shanghai Master Forum on Science, based on gathering and disseminating scientific thoughts, was initiated by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Shanghai Committee.

To shape Shanghai into a scientific and technological innovation center with global reach, the forum will generate "Four ONEs" including one journal, one series of books on the frontiers of science, one series of audio-visual media and one science and technology think tank.

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