It's the algorithm, stupid
Could maths - or rather the lack of it - turn out to lie at the root of problems like the credit crunch, telecommunications bottlenecks, and even climate change?
That's the logic behind the launch of an £8m partnership that aims to solve the massive numerical problems posed by the latest advances in science, medicine and engineering.
The new centre - The Numerical Algorithms and Intelligent Software Centre, or NAIS - is the brainchild of scientists at Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt Universities. It will develop the supercomputing skills and complex mathematical algorithms needed to make sense of the vast amounts of data produced in climate models or on financial markets.
Better modelling of the risks they were running could have helped city traders avoid some of the worst pitfalls of the credit crunch, according to Professor Andrew Cairns at Heriot-Watt University.
Although he does concede the real problem was that bankers didn't fully understand the mathematical and computer models they were using on the trading floor.
Perhaps a more comprehensive grasp of the basics, a course in mathematics 101, would be a better bet for safeguarding the city's future.