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The rise and rise of interdisciplinary research: Understanding the interaction dynamics of three major fields – Physics, Mathematics Computer Science

by   Rima Hazra, et al.
IIT Kharagpur
IIT Gandhinagar

The distinction between sciences is becoming increasingly more artificial – an approach from one area can be easily applied to the other. More exciting research nowadays is happening perhaps at the interfaces of disciplines like Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science. How do these interfaces emerge and interact? For instance, is there a specific pattern in which these fields cite each other? In this article, we investigate a collection of more than 1.2 million papers from three different scientific disciplines – Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. We show how over a timescale the citation patterns from the core science fields (Physics, Mathematics) to the applied and fast-growing field of Computer Science have drastically increased. Further, we observe how certain subfields in these disciplines are shrinking while others are becoming tremendously popular. For instance, an intriguing observation is that citations from Mathematics to the subfield of machine learning in Computer Science in recent times are exponentially increasing.


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