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Brazil Among the Elite of Mathematical Research

01/26/2018 - 11h22

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FERNANDO TADEU MORAES
LUISA LEITE
FROM SÃO PAULO

Brazilian science has been facing a gloomy reality, such as a sharp drop in funds for the area and researchers leaving the country, but mathematics may be a silver lining in Brazilian science.

The country has been included in the international mathematics elite group, Group 5, among the most developed nations in mathematical research.

This inclusion means Brazil will have more relevance and influence in decisions related to mathematics and has now five votes in the organization's general meeting.

According to Paolo Piccione, professor of the University of São Paulo (USP) and president of the Brazilian Mathematical Society (SBM), "the country has consolidated its position as a reference in mathematics in Latin America," particularly in 2014, when Artur Avila was awarded the Fields medal (the highest award in mathematics).

DISCREPANCY

The inclusion of Brazil in Group 5 is even more noteworthy due to the discrepancy between the excellence in research developed in the country and the poor quality of mathematics education in the country.

According to the last Pisa, main study on basic education in the world, the country has been ranked No. 65 out of 70 countries.

More than 70% of Brazilian students between 15 and 16 years old do not reach basic proficiency level in mathematics.

"This paradox is not exclusively Brazilian," says mathematician Artur Avila. "But it is obvious the country needs good mathematics education in all levels, in order not to waste any potential."

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

Read the article in the original language

Mastrangelo Reino/Caixapreta/Folhapress
Brazilian Artur Avila was awarded the Fields medal, the highest award in mathematics
Brazilian Artur Avila was awarded the Fields medal, the highest award in mathematics

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