The University of Bristol is spending £34m on a new building to house its Mathematics Department, one of the top mathematics research centres in the world.
The investment is recognition that the technological society is built on mathematical advances, from the principles behind Google's search engine to genetic research, which is frequently statistics based.
"Mathematics is playing an increasing role in science, engineering, medicine, the arts, social sciences, business and society in general," said Professor Steve Wiggins, head of Bristol's Mathematics Department.
"Completely new areas of study and new disciplines are being created that rely crucially on mathematics for their success. This is bringing a wealth of new opportunities for mathematics and a demand for mathematicians."
The new building, due to be completed in 2010, will bring together a growing number of mathematics students and staff into one place. The intention is to further enhance the quality of research by promoting more collaboration.
One of the reasons behind the recent renaissance for mathematics is the increase in the quantity of data to be analysed, explained Professor Wiggins.
Human genetic research, climate modelling, data compression, pharmaceutical testing, signal analysis and pattern recognition from security cameras are just some of the sources producing immense volumes of data that require mathematical analysis.
Bristol has a worldwide reputation for mathematics research, and has increased the value of its research contracts from £3m to £11m in the past four years. It is a world research leader in frontier areas such as quantum computing and nano-mathematics.
It is in the early stages of building a new £10m nano-science laboratory which, in terms of vibration, will be the quietist in the world, making it possible to perform measurements on the nanoscale.
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