Ethics in Mathematics


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Mathematics is usually regarded as ahistorical and culturally independent and hence amoral. The use of mathematics in guiding policy decisions challenges this view and has become an important topic with the proliferation of algorithms that affect people’s lives in a multitude of domains.

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to ethics with a focus on the relationship between mathematics and ethics. The aim is to develop students’ capabilities to support their post-doctoral careers; the final lecture will involve students presenting an ethical reflection on an aspect of their mathematical research. On completing the course, students will have a basic idea of ethics as well as understanding some of the concerns that contemporary human sciences have with the use of mathematics.