Research Office have grown more mission oriented in recent years. This trend is cause for concern because many, and perhaps most, significant innovations in scientific or engineering fields began with one or two people, on a small scale, and in an unglamorous but curiosity-driven way. For example, it was not anticipated that purely mathematical, number-theoretic basic research on elliptic curves would become of key importance in secure encryption procedures that are now widely used in (to give just one context) banking.

The mathematical sciences are a comparatively low-cost, high-leverage contributor to the nation's research enterprise. In many instances, mathematical developments have been springboards for the launching of new industries, medical imaging and image compression being just two. The ever increasing role that the mathematical sciences play in science, technology, engineering, business, and industry warrants increased government funding for mathematical sciences programs and, in particular, new funding for new research institutes in the mathematical sciences. New funds should be made available so that serious consideration can be given to establishing research institutes for mathematical sciences in emerging fields and a research institute for experimental and electronic tools in the mathematical sciences. The establishment of these institutes would be a good investment involving minimal risk and offering a solid likelihood of great impact and benefit to the nation.



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