Minhyong Kim is leading a new initiative called Mathematics for Humanity that encourages mathematicians to apply their skills to solving social problems.

Philip Amman:

I think, first of all, primarily, we’re training them for their own sake, not for ours. Of course, community benefits will come out of the situation in some way. But mostly, it’s about their individual fulfillment that we’re here for when we’re educating them. How they find meaning in life, it’s up to them.

Secondly, I think mathematical sophistication is very important in understanding the world at present in many possible ways. You definitely need to have a sophisticated mathematical view that you combine with other things to understand the world. Now, if there are a lot of such people in society, then people who teach and produce new mathematics, it’s hard to think that they wouldn’t benefit from it. If, in other words, you have a mathematically sophisticated society, the status of the people who are specialists in mathematics [will improve].