What is applied mathematics and how is it different from mathematics or any other scientific discipline? ‘What’s so funny ‘bout applied mathematics? Modelling, theory, and methods’ argues that applied mathematics includes the modelling of natural phenomena and human endeavours, the study of mathematical ideas originating from these models, and the systematic development of theoretical and computational tools to probe models, handle data, and gain insight into any problem that has been properly quantified. Applied mathematics is best characterized by three intertwined areas: modelling, theory, and methods. Any work in applied mathematics fits in one of these three categories or combines them judiciously.