KARACHI: Many frustrated students have often stared at sequences of symbols and numbers in textbooks, wondering what utility, if any, the exercise could have in ‘real life’. At the seventh National Mathematics Colloquium organised on Saturday at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), professors pointed out how useful equations could be to Pakistan’s development.
The theme of the conference was how stochastic modelling and data analysis can help the country grow in various fields, including agriculture, banking and insurance, shipping, aviation, transport, environment, energy, medicine and engineering.
Dr Syed Iftikhar Ali, the head of IoBM’s mathematics department, welcomed the guests and the institute’s rector, Talib Karim, said he was pleased that the organisers had invited the brains of the country to highlight the research they have conducted to help Pakistan grow.
Dr Ejaz Ahmed, IoBM’s computer science dean, said that the university was the only one in the country to host an event to share specialised knowledge on mathematics. “The Mathematics Society at the IoBM has been organising the conference for last seven years which covers the application of the selected topics in the fields of business, economics, computer science, management and finance.” He added that despite its undeniable importance and the presence of qualified experts in the country, mathematics as a subject is not getting the attention it deserves in Pakistan.
He said that the event was designed in such a manner that besides speeches and presentations, participants have time to discuss insights and exchange ideas. In the past years, the mathematics colloquium was held with themes such as optimisation, simulation, financial mathematics, risk management and risk forecasting.
All speakers believed that such conferences benefit various fields and could aid economic development – only if they were given a chance and more were organised. Prof. Dr SM Aqil Burney of Karachi University said, “What remains of vital significance is feedback and follow-up so that these benefits are positively reflected in the overall developmental perspective of the country.”
Papers presented at the conference included ones on the analysis of human communities using fuzzy graphs, stochastic exponential model for population growth and the conditional relationship between risk and return with evidence from an emerging market.
Those present on the occasion included Prof. Masoodul Haq the head of the mathematics and science department at Usman Institute of Technology.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2013.