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Keywords:

  • mathematics;
  • mathematical modeling;
  • linear;
  • nonlinear;
  • stability;
  • computational methods

Abstract

A review is made of the role of mathematics in the field of chemical engineering in the latter half of the twentieth century. The beginning of this era was marked by the concerted effort of a few to raise the mathematical consciousness of the profession to think fundamentally about processes. We have accomplished this review by providing a rough structure of the areas of mathematics, deliberating on how each area has matured through growing applications, to conclude that mathematics is the main medium to meditate not only about processes, but even about materials and products. As we are clearly entering another era where the domain of chemical engineering is expanding into new areas with a focus on discovery oriented high throughput technology, modeling and rapid computation must provide the guidelines for rational interpretation of multitudes of observations. © 2004 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 50: 7–23, 2004