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Mathematical Sciences, Technology, and Economic Competitiveness
world trade, the division of the U.S. economy is very different. The share of manufacturing is 57 percent, mining and agriculture are each about 10 percent, transportation and travel are each about 6 percent, and the balance is 11 percent (Passel, 1990 ). Manufacturing, the area in which international economic competition is most intense, plays a dominant role in export and import, and thus is given major emphasis in this report. Also discussed is the role of technology and quantitative thinking in the service sector, because the benefits of increases in productivity will be greatly multiplied if they are realized in this sector as well. Most sectors of our economy (service, agriculture, government, national security and defense, and manufacturing) have already benefited greatly from the introduction of U.S. advanced technology.
Major U.S. industries with a trade deficit (automobiles, oil, consumer electronics), those with a trade surplus (aircraft manufacture, chemicals), and those that are emerging or have a strategic importance for the future (biotechnology, computers) depend on advanced technology and quantitative reasoning, not only for research and development, but also through all stages of the product cycle, including especially the manufacturing process itself.
Both advanced technology and economic analysis are implemented in quantitative terms. From the strategic planning for large organizations, to the design of novel or superior products, to the assessment of risk and safety factors and the engineering of reliable products, quantitative thinking has been critical to success. Quantitative thinking typically implies the formulation and modeling of a problem in mathematical terms and the simulation and solution of the model equations, often using computational methods. It necessarily requires validation and parameter adjustment through laboratory and field data. It is often interdisciplinary in nature.
Examples of clear quantitative and mathematical successes that have an impact on advanced technology and economic competitiveness are widespread. This fact can be verified by examining the complete product cycle, from strategic planning to research, engineering design, manufacturing efficiency, process control, quality improvement, marketing, inventory, transportation, distribution, and product maintenance. There are similar examples within the technology base, outside of specific product cycles, such as the advanced computational meth-