Obviously, mathematics provides essential tools for physicists, biologists, economists, engineers and many others to use in their research. Equally obviously, physics, biology, economy and engineering provide the inspiration for research topics and directions in mathematics. But this isn't what this question is about. Instead, I'm wondering about *tools* provided to mathematicians by other disciplines.

Are there any examples of tools (excluding software) from another discipline that you personally have used in your mathematical research?

E.g., I find dimensional analysis (as in assigning dimensionfull units to variables) a very useful tool from physics, which can greatly help in finding errors during algebraic manipulation of equations.