When people think of mathematics, they don't usually think of making money.
But maths and business are inseparable.
This is well known to the experts to attend the 2020 Mathematics in Industry Study Group workshop, to be held at University of Newcastle's city campus from Tuesday to Saturday.
Professor Natalie Thamwattana aims to bust the myth that maths is not relevant to the real world.
Business problems, she said, can be solved through mathematical eyes.
"We need maths in all kinds of areas," Professor Thamwattana said.
She said businesses use maths to minimise costs and maximise profit.
The event will feature three Newcastle companies and an aerospace business connected to the Williamtown RAAF base.
Each company will present a problem, which experts will aim to solve to help improve the businesses.
The event will feature world-leading mathematicians, statisticians, scientists and engineers from universities and the public and private sectors.
Professor Thamwattana urged more young people to consider doing maths.
She said studying maths at school and university would provide unique skills and perspectives that could help students get better jobs.
"We need more high school students doing a high level of maths, not just general maths."
She said there were usually two types of people doing maths - "the gifted ones and ones that work hard," adding that she was a worker.
The gifted ones may find that maths comes easy, but not all of them work hard.
Those who work the hardest were often the ones to get the highest marks.
"Maths is challenging, but there's personal satisfaction," she said.
Different types of satisfaction can be felt when maths is used to provide solutions for business.
But it's not all about making money.
Maths can help people, make a difference in society and offer meaning, purpose and mystery.
She urged high school and university students to attend the workshop, particularly the first and last days.
"They can learn the process of thinking, how an assumption gets turned into a mathematical model and how a problem gets solved with different tools and techniques," she said.
The event includes a public lecture at Newcastle City Hall at 5pm on Friday, titled Mathematics in Industry.
Professor Ryan Loxton, of Curtin University, will give the lecture on "optimisation in action", which will examine ways to find value in the mining, energy and agriculture sectors.
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