September 5, 2020 6:00 - 7:30
What do mathematics and cardiac surgery have in common? Apparently little, yet the increasingly sophisticated algorithms and the growing computing power allow us to redraw the domains of the two disciplines, creating new unexpected superpositions. The dialogue between these two disciplines will take the form of a discussion between a highly experienced heart surgeon and a renowned mathematician who has been dealing for many years with applications of mathematics to medicine and to the study of cardiovascular diseases in particular. Despite having achieved an unthinkable excellence, medicine is still looking for answers to a large number of questions, which mathematics can help to understand and systematize. In particular, complex phenomena of cardiac function can be described and investigated thanks to the modeling and numerical solution of the equations.
The scene opens on the cardiac surgeon, who presents himself and reflects on the potential of modern interventional techniques, introducing the questions that are still open in his discipline. Then, the mathematician comes on stage, and presents himself and his skill in modelling many aspects of the real world. He then tries to answer to the heart surgeon, using the research tools he studied and developed. Although starting from two very different backgrounds both in terms of practice and thought, the two scientists find a common way to understand each other and proceed towards the solution of the problem. The growing importance of interdisciplinarity for solving the challenges posed by today's context clearly emerges, together with the need to find a language common to both disciplines. The dialogue between the two scientists is developed through a story, an hypothetical clinical case, which will not lead to definitive answers but will show the beneficial effects of the synergy of the two disciplines. It is a journey to discover a new approach to science: more open, interdisciplinary and inclusive.