lördag 8 januari 2011
Simulation Technology, BodyandSoul and NA
Next week the Numerical Analysis group (NA) within the School of Computer Science and Communication at KTH (CSC), will decide to run the Bachelor program in Simulation Technology (ST) planned to start in the Fall 20111, or to make an emergency stop, as if ST
was one of the nuclear reactors in Sweden shut down this winther because insufficient maintenance over long time is threatening safety.
The reason for CSC to stop ST is that ST is based on the BodyandSoul (BS) mathematics reform program, and the School of Engineering Sciences (SCI) including Mathematics, Mechanics and Physics, is objecting to ST/BS.
Why is then SCI seeking to stop ST/BS? Because ST/BS is based on a modern synthesis of mathematics and computation threatening to replace traditional programs in mathematics, mechanics and physics forming the basis of SCI. In the fierce competition between schools, SCI thus will lose students and resources to CSC, unless ST is stopped.
In the business world SCI represents a big company with traditional technology, which is challenged by a small innovative company with new technology. In business this common situtation is usually handled by the big company buying the small innovative company, thereby eliminating both the threat and getting access to the new technology. The alternative of seeking to stop the new technology by e.g. a media campaign is seldom used, because it is well understood that it does not work. Stupidity in business leads to ruin. What about in academics then?
Well, academics is becoming more and more businesslike, and so the same rules should apply:
And yes, SCI has been trying to buy out NA from CSC for a long time and the deal may be closed any day.
What could then be a good strategy for NA facing a merge into SCI and mathematics? To give up the new ST/BS technology because of SCI says so? No, that would be very stupid. A small company without new technology will simply by eaten by the big traditional company and thus perish. Example: At Chalmers a traditional NA was merged with traditional mathematical sciences and accordingly perished along with traditional courses in numerical analysis.
But a small company with new technology can get a golden position in a big company. NA with ST/BS can get a strong position in the coming merge with SCI.
What do you think NA will do? Give up ST/BS? Not give up ST/BS? The decision will be taken next week and will be reported here. The bets are high.
What about ST without BS then? Would this be accepted by SCI? No, because ST is based on the forming principle of BS of a synthesis of math-computation-application, which is the red flag to SCI. Even if resources to develop a new BS-like program from scratch were available (they are not), any new BS-like program would meet the same resistance from SCI, as long as it has not been incorporated into a core product of SCI with sign reversed.
Compare with DN today: Swedish Mathematician Gives Life to Movies.