MPE2013 is a success. It is has generated enthusiasm all over the world, and it is giving mathematics more visibility than we could have hoped for. The fact that over 120 organizations in many countries have joined MPE2013 as partners is an indication that we have hit a resonance.
As a life-long applied mathematician, I am of course very pleased with this outcome. I have often wondered how we can make applied mathematics more visible and present our discipline as an invaluable component of the scientific enterprise. Applied mathematics lacks the glamour that core mathematics generates with its “open problems.” Think of the four-color problem, Fermat’s last theorem, the Poincaré conjecture: all rather abstruse concepts, but they made the news in a big way. Would anything like that ever happen to geometric singular perturbation theory, or homogenization? I doubt. Yet, applied mathematics provides the infrastructure for science, engineering, and the life sciences. The trouble is: infrastructure is mostly invisible.
But MPE2013 has hit a chord. It has caught the attention of a wider audience, it has a catchy sound to it and could give us a handle to better advertise our stuff. So I have a suggestion. We adopt the MPE brand, trademark it and exploit it to present applied mathematics as a partner in society’s quest for a sustainable future. Anyone who is working at the interface of mathematics and Planet Earth is welcome to use the brand name, and soon we will see a thousand MPEs bloom.