The Discovery Centre for Fundamental Research

We advance fundamental research in computer science, mathematics, and statistics to solve societal problems.

Stock image of a blackboard with equations

The Discovery Centre for Fundamental Research uses mathematics as a language for understanding, improving, and safeguarding people and the world. We seek to achieve globally transformative impact through foundational research, transdisciplinary translation to application, and flagship projects.

Our research

Our kaupapa is to foster and promote fundamental research – research that is curiosity driven, or that has a long lead time to application. From a base in mathematics, computer science, and statistics, our purpose is to bring together diverse thinkers and be a voice for public engagement.

The deepest problems facing society and humankind require not just refining and enhancing existing knowledge, but the development of fundamental new ideas. Evidence from the past and present abounds. Every aspect of our existence now has been enormously impacted by theoretical endeavours—from the quantum understanding of atoms and chemistry to the musings of Alan Turing as he developed the conceptual basis of modern computing and artificial intelligence.

Indeed, the vast majority of the major transformations which have led to our prosperous modern society originate from, or were supported by, fundamental research which at the time of discovery seemed to have no immediate impact. We see a need to 1. ensure people have a licence to engage in curiosity driven research, 2. support interactions between fundamental and applied researchers, and 3. increase the awareness of government and society of the importance of fundamental research.

Our people