Applied Mathematics in Brazil: Challenges and Opportunities
In this article I present an account and recollection of my experiences as a practitioner and promoter of Applied Mathematics, intensely and passionately exercised for more than 30 years at the Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Scientific Computing (IMECC) at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP). Based on successes and, above all, failures along the road, I dare to share a few reflections about Applied Mathematics in Brazil, with special emphasis on its challenges and opportunities. In doing so, I take full responsibilities of the lack of impartiality, which seems unavoidable due to strong involvement. The style of the present text is the one usually employed by applied research articles: they start with an actual application and, after showing good results, proceed with the scientific formulation and arguments that justify the obtained results. In this article, I start with a brief description of the actual involvement and responses as an applied mathematician to the various challenges and opportunities faced along my career and then proceed with more general reflections and discussions about what can be learned from this process and it can contribute to make Applied Mathematics better and more useful.
I take the opportunity to thank all colleagues from IMECC for constructive criticism, inspiring suggestions, involvement, and support along all these years.