Sunday, May 24, 2015

Brian Romanchuk — Mathiness

In "Protecting the Norms of Science in Economics", Paul Romer writes: 
"About math: I have studied physics as an undergraduate.I’ve seen clear evidence that math can facilitate scientific progress toward the truth.  
"If you think that math is worthless or dangerous, I’m sure that there are people who will be happy to discuss this with you. I’m not interested. I’m busy."
I'll see his undergraduate degree in physics, and raise him by a Ph.D. in applied mathematics (Control Systems Theory). Undergraduate physicists study highly polished and elegant models which have been chosen because they describe aspects of physical behaviour quite well. Conversely, engineers study complex systems which may or may not appear to follow those simplified laws of nature*, and are forced to make educated guesses on how to simplify the analysis of the systems. Economics is dealing with complex systems that are a lot closer to the reality of engineering than the ivory tower of undergraduate physics. 
One needs to push down the expectations of what mathematics can accomplish. Mathematics consists of two things:....
May should like it is going to go all wonkish, but it doesn't.  Brain makes some killer points. Nice job.

Bond Economics
Brian Romanchuk

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