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Do engineering researchers often use advanced math as tools?

  1. Feb 14, 2012 #1
    Such as topics in topology, complex analysis, etc.?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2012 #2
    I've never used topology for anything. Complex analysis is rather important in many subjects. It used to be the most widely used method for analyzing airfoils.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2012 #3

    boneh3ad

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    Topology finds a bit of use in any field concerning nonlinear dynamical systems. Working in phase space in these situations lends itself nicely to topological analysis in some cases.

    Complex analysis is used at the very least a little bit in aerodynamics and electrodynamics or any field that uses potential theory.

    There are also a whole heck of a lot of signals analysis techniques in use such as various Fourier analyses, wavelet decompositions, Hilbert transforms and the like.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2012 #4

    AlephZero

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    It might be a coincidence that one of the guys we have working on superplastic forging technology has a PhD in topology. Or it might not be... :smile:
     
  6. Feb 15, 2012 #5
    Very interesting. What area do you specialize in?
     
  7. Feb 15, 2012 #6
    I have yet to see applications of other topics in math to engineering such as set and number theory. Are they just not practical for applications in engineering? I have seen quite a few applications of these topics in computer science, though.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2012 #7

    boneh3ad

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    They aren't that practical. There are niche areas where you will run across a little bit of that sort of stuff, but on the whole it isn't all that common, at least as far as I have experienced.
     
  9. Feb 22, 2012 #8
    It's all field dependent. Advanced math is critical to engineering research.
     
  10. Feb 23, 2012 #9

    OldEngr63

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    I have made a good bit of use of vector and tensor analysis, curvature tensors, calculus of variations, and Fourier analysis, both finite and infinite.
     
  11. Feb 27, 2012 #10
    Thanks for all your input, very interesting to hear of applications of advanced math in engineering.

    What I'm mostly interested in at the moment is signal processing and control systems. It seems applied math departments also do research in these topics of engineering, which I find to be odd. For someone interested in eventually doing research in these fields, which topic in mathematics would be best to get well acquainted with?
     
  12. Feb 27, 2012 #11

    boneh3ad

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    Fourier analysis would be your number one target to start with. Then maybe things like statistics, proper orthogonal decomposition, Hilbert transforms, etc.
     
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