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METI and MEXT Report “The Coming Era of Mathematical Capitalism - How the Power of Mathematics Changes Our Future-”

As an outcome of the meetings of the Industry-Academia Round-Table Discussion to Encourage Human Resources in the Fields of Science and Mathematics to Play Important Roles in Industry

March 26, 2019

In light of the current growing demand for knowledge of mathematics* among industrial players along with the advancement of the fourth industrial revolution, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held a series of meetings of the Industry-Academia Round-Table Discussion to Encourage Human Resources in the Fields of Science and Mathematics to Play Important Roles in Industry. At the meetings, participants uncovered current situations and challenges in industrial application of mathematics and exchanged views on solutions to such challenges and future directions. Following this, MEXT and METI compiled the meeting results into a report titled “The Coming Era of Mathematical Capitalism - How the Power of Mathematics Changes Our Future-.”

*Note: The term “mathematics” herein refers to mathematics in a broad sense, including pure mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and probability theory as well as quantum theory, elementary particle physics and astrophysics, and other fields that require mathematical expressions.

Background and purpose

As people in Japan are facing the advancement of the fourth industrial revolution in which their everyday lives involving the economy and society are digitalized, the names of advanced technologies, such as AI, big data and IoT, are becoming more and more among the public. Against this backdrop, a dramatically growing number of industrial players have been demanding human resources with knowledge or ability in mathematics, so-called “human resources in the fields of mathematics and science,” a current trend brought about by the arrival of deep learning technology, in particular, a trigger of the third AI boom that has been working as an accelerator of the fourth industrial revolution.

The level of mathematical ability in Japan is as high as in other countries and Japan is rich in young human resources with outstanding mathematical ability. Japan needs to provide such resources with opportunities to play leading roles, and to this end, the industry, academia and government sectors should closely collaborate and cooperate to further develop the field of mathematics in Japan and should strongly advance the development of the field of science by integrating the field of mathematics and other fields. Moreover, they should establish world-leading models of business management systems or social systems in which human resources in the fields of mathematics and science can play leading roles and also should convey information on such models to the rest of the world.

In this context, on August 8, 2018, MEXT and METI collaboratively established an Industry-Academia Round-Table Discussion to Encourage Human Resources in the Fields of Science and Mathematics to Play Important Roles in Industry consisting of members from the industry and academia sectors, and held five meetings and compiled the meeting results into a report titled “The Coming Era of Mathematical Capitalism - How the Power of Mathematics Changes Our Future-.”

Appendix

Division in Charge