More maths good for economy - Nobel laureate

 

THE MORE competent mathematicians a country has the better for its economy, one of the world's leading economists told a conference in Co Kerry yesterday.

Nobel prize winner Sir Clive Granger said there was "a ludicrous attitude" that people need not do maths because it was supposedly not relevant.

He also hit out at the time spent on administration by professors in the UK and Ireland, which meant they had less time for research.

Sir Clive, who was awarded the Nobel prize for economics in 2003, was speaking at a conference on economic forecasting in the Institute of Technology Tralee, which celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday.

A professor at the University of California, San Diego, he has specialised in statistics, economic forecasting and analysis.

Asked about the global economic crisis and Ireland's economic future, Sir Clive said the US economy was fundamentally sound. It was not as bad as it seemed, even though there was a financial mess with the lending situation.

However, he said, Ireland would take longer to pull through than either the US or the UK. This was because the construction industry here was so central to the economy.

Sir Clive also launched a programme by the Centre for Innovation of Distributed Systems (CIDS) at IT Tralee that will support the teaching of mathematics at primary schools.