Is this CW question ok: In what new areas would you like to see mathematical application?

Right now it's formulated very informally. Perhaps it could be made more focused. Sometimes I want to read books or papers relating to "maths of...[insert]" but search shows that math hasn't hitherto penetrated certain areas. (Although problem is one can slap "math of" and come up with pretty much anything.)


  • mathematics of vexillology and heraldry : how to generate random, new designs by plugging in values using the 63 representing symbols
  • using braid theory to choreograph puppetry, fencing or dancing patterns
  • surveillance theory : how can we create more structures like Panopticon
  • using knot theory to develop generalized lock theory (only application so far I saw was in an algebraic topology book where a lock was generalized to knots, forgot the title...)
  • mathematics of smuggling or hustling: how can the process of say transporting a concealed object from an agent to agent around 'obstacles' be modeled or formalized using graph theory (in fact a two dimensional extension of Graham et al.'s Theory of Juggling) / of course it's utility to detect crimes) :)
  • using swarm intelligence to model NFL or NHL offense patterns?
  • creating templates for story plots based on data-mining of musical scores (there are lot of software templates out there)
  • generating 'witty' one liner advertising slogans from a 'bot' that eavesdrops on twitters, proverbs, expressions, existing ones...etc
  • the recently bumped thread of 'taco shape' made me wonder if 'culinary theory' can be introduced

Of course, a broader field would be to ask: Can creativity be automated? of P vs NP. But can we break down that into further applications to new sub-areas? (although most examples were from humanities)

[And lest one asks why don't "I" use them creating formal theories and submitting them to journals. But I do not possess the minimal requirement to do so; also, it's basically a big-list idea where cross-collaboration between experts are required. Least I could do was ask this question. :) ]

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    $\begingroup$ I am upvoting because I think this is a good use of meta. I do not have a strong opinion on whether such a question is posted. $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2011 at 6:54
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    $\begingroup$ "the recently bumped thread of 'taco shape' made me wonder if 'culinary theory' can be introduced" - this can be treated as an engineering problem, actually. :) $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2011 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ @j.m The taco problem? Yes, that would be engineering. But by culinary theory,well, actually I meant 'new recipe' from given variables/constraint. But it'd be a CS problem then. To start small: Procedure for preparing tea, etc. :) $\endgroup$
    – user18325
    Dec 17, 2011 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ I am conflicted as to whether I should delete the question in main. $\endgroup$
    – user18325
    Dec 18, 2011 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ Bumping this because I was wondering if I can add a bounty on this given the soft nature of the topic. Here is the main page link $\endgroup$ May 8, 2012 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ For record it was my old account. $\endgroup$ May 8, 2012 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ I just realized it was dumb of me to put a bounty knowing a dead account cannot accept an answer. :( $\endgroup$ May 9, 2012 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


I recall looking at food science books that gave procedures for finding optimal recipes - taste, texture, etc. From what I remember, this was probably twenty-five years ago, the process amounted to contour plotting from test (small batch) recipes. One could probably advance the field be doing surface fitting. On the other hand at the time I was working in a production kitchen and saw people routinely make measuring errors of ten percent. This means fine tuning recipes is a waste of time.

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    $\begingroup$ This is irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is whether the question being proposed is appropriate for the site. Please post your answer on the actual question here. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2012 at 0:58

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