Maths Can Beat Terror - by Lord Bhattacharyya; EMERGING MARKETS ECONOMICS Power of Applied Mathematics Could 'Boost Security'

The Birmingham Post (England), October 23, 2008 | Go to article overview

Maths Can Beat Terror - by Lord Bhattacharyya; EMERGING MARKETS ECONOMICS Power of Applied Mathematics Could 'Boost Security'


Byline: BYDUNCAN TIFT Deputy Business Editor

Midland academic and manufacturing champion Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya has used the opening of the Research CouncilUK's first office in India to press the case for applied maths as an important weapon in the war against global terrorism.

LordBhattacharyya, head ofWarwick Manufacturing Group, said if a stable security environment could be guaranteed then this would go a long way towards creating a solid platform for economic growth.

Speaking in NewDelhi, he said:"We all live in the shadow of modern terrorism.

"Terror has becomethe great destabilising force in democratic societies, the knowledge that a small group of people with murderous intent can cause havoc anywhere and to anybody.

"Themassive flows of data and people that make internat ional terrorism so threatening alsomeanthat security of information is not an issue restricted to intelligence services."

"As information is centralised and stored electronically it becomes vulnerable to those who wish to access it for malicious purposes, for example identify theft and financial fraud.

"To fight this we can draw on the power of applied mathematics," he added. WMG, he noted, had recently created a new e-security group which combines mathematics and computer science with expertise from the defence sector "to highlight the problem and focus on helping companies, large and small". It was also an area where Indian researchers had excelled and where both India and the UK could work together.

Similarly, energy issues were fuelling the potential for world conflict.

Lord Bhattacharyya said: "This will become more important as demand for energy becomes one of the defining features of our global environment.

"We can see the after effects of increasing energy demand, not just in oil prices, but in the debate over the future of Iran's nuclear programme, and in the politics of the Middle East.

"Many of these social conflicts are ripples caused by the need for economies to secure their energy future." He said that if ways of managing this demand more effectively could be found, the long term consequenceswould not just be less polluting cars or more efficient factories, but a less dangerous world. …

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