I have always been bad at math! This sentence in connection with a friendly smile - after all, it is not so bad not to know math - can be heard again and again. Now, it is not everyone's cup of tea to deal with the contents of so-called hard courses of study, this is of course not expected, but the status of mathematics is not helped by the accompanying belittling smile in particular. On the other hand, however, a graduate in mathematics is met with respect, and of course with a certain strangeness.
In daily professional life, this is somewhat different, mathematicians and graduates of other courses of study work together smoothly, but there one is also "among oneself" and pursues a common goal such as the achievement of project success. For this, mathematical knowledge is usually not decisive; more important are the working techniques and the systematic approach to problem solving.
The status of mathematics in our society is not high, even though mathematics is highly valued as a science. Against the background of this thesis, some professors and graduates of the Faculty of Mathematics at Ruhr University Bochum got together and discussed the foundation of a support association for mathematics at Ruhr University Bochum. It is clear to all that such an association cannot change the image of mathematics in the public quickly and radically, but from small beginnings greater things can arise. What can we do concretely was the most discussed question. In view of the financial situation at the universities, there are some potentials that are to be attacked immediately.
The Support Association for Mathematics at Ruhr University Bochum intends to make financial contributions to enable the acquisition of urgently needed journals, literature or mathematical software, or to finance student travel to scientific meetings or congresses.
The image of mathematics is decisively shaped by its appearance, therefore the association has made it its task to present the contents of mathematical research and its historical development to the public, for example through exhibitions or lectures.
The most promising approach, however, is a network of mathematicians that makes it easy for graduates to make the transition from university to professional life. If cooperation succeeds in opening up sustainable career opportunities for mathematicians, the public image of mathematics will change on its own, because it will then be clear that mathematics can be used to reach top positions.
We invite you all to join us. Of course we need money to achieve our goals, but equally important if not more important is the cooperation, the networking, for mutual benefit and thus for the benefit of mathematics.
(Further information below, in German only)