January 24, 2022


The world of science and technology

US NSF – Mathematics Research Area

Understanding NSF Research: Mathematics

Smartphones, the internet, medical imaging, artificial intelligence and sports–all run on math. Advanced mathematical equations called algorithms enable the automatic transmission, routing and reception of data. They also help researchers analyze large volumes of data, making it easier to detect cancer or discover trends in disease outbreaks. Nearly every sport now uses some form of analytics or trend discovery to evaluate athletes’ performance. Even threat detection, whether on the streets or in the cyber-world, benefits from advanced mathematics to assess risk and track trouble. A strong foundation in arithmetic, algebra, geometry and calculus creates opportunities to study advanced mathematics and in turn develop essential tools that drive critical technologies such as communication networks and scientific visualization tools that model everything from the human heart to tornados.

PREDPOL: Algorithms for Predicting Crime

With support from the National Science Foundation, a team at UCLA developed PredPol, a set of algorithms for predicting where crimes will occur—a much different form of policing from traditional methods usually employed today.


NSF funds research in a range of mathematical sciences from statistics and probability to geometric analysis and applied mathematics. The agency is the leading supporter of fundamental mathematics research in the United States.


Coding Theory

In the era of Big Data, coding is necessary for data compression, transmission, and storage, among other uses. Codes are studied by various scientific disciplines to design efficient and reliable data transmission methods.

Economic, Social, and Organizational Systems

Mathematical Biology

Mathematical biology uses the techniques and tools of applied mathematics to study biological phenomena. The increase of computing power and development of data-rich information sets has contributed to the growth of this field over the past few decades.

Science and Engineering Statistics


The theory of probability, which dates back to the 16th century, is the analysis of random phenomena. While outcomes of random events cannot be determined before the event itself, probability presents any one of several possible outcomes.

NSF Mathematics News