The Should I Become a Mathematician? Thread


by mathwonk
Tags: mathematician
mathwonk
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#3349
Dec1-12, 08:31 PM
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thank you for these views which differ from many usually found here, and supplement them nicely!
NegativeDept
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#3350
Dec7-12, 10:53 PM
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Quote Quote by mathwonk View Post
By the way, to my knowledge, the only mathematicians posting regularly on this site are Matt Grime and me. Please correct me on this point, since nothing this general is ever true.
I raise my hand with magnitude ##r \in (0,\tfrac{1}{2}]##. I'm a physics PhD student with a math undergrad degree. My thesis is on quantum decoherence, but it consists entirely of equations, simulations, theorems, and other people's data. When asked, I identify as either "applied mathematician" or "theoretical physicist."
Arnol'd, who is a MUCH better mathematician than me, says math is "a branch of physics, that branch where experiments are cheap." At this late date in my career I am trying to learn from him, and have begun pursuing this hint. I have greatly enjoyed teaching differential equations this year in particular, and have found that the silly structure theorems I learned in linear algebra, have as their real use an application to solving linear systems of ode's. I intend to revise my linear algebra notes now to point this out.
I agree! I just wrote a linear-systems-of-ODEs numerical software package which uses silly theorems of linear algebra to beat the hell out of RK4. (The catch: linear systems only. If you're interested, look up "Magnus expansion.") I'm sure my advisor, who has published huge amounts of Arnol'd-related stuff, would also applaud your effort. I suspect we're both working on one of his big long-term goals: show scientists and engineers that Sophus Lie's view of ODEs can be really practical and useful.
Hercuflea
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#3351
Dec9-12, 11:00 PM
P: 317
Is it possible to receive an applied math Ph.D, but do your dissertation in some other area of science or engineering? I am asking because I want to get a solid foundation on some mathematics courses (functional analysis, advanced and numerical linear algebra, ODE's, PDE's, hilbert spaces, several complex variables) at the graduate level, but I would not really have a chance to take all of these courses if I did an engineering Ph.D. However It seems like it would be the best of both worlds if I could go for an applied math Ph.D. and do my dissertation in nuclear fusion which is ultimately my intended research interest, whilst being able to get the solid mathematical background.

Do you know if this is a common thing to do in applied math programs?
QuantumP7
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#3352
Dec12-12, 12:00 PM
P: 56
I just got What Is Mathematics: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods, Second Edition. It's by Richard Courant, Herbert Robbins and revised by Ian Stewart. I'm REALLY looking forward to solidifying my knowledge of the really basic parts of mathematics. Hopefully, it'll answer some questions I have about the fundamental concepts.
Cod
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#3353
Dec13-12, 08:14 PM
P: 305
Quote Quote by QuantumP7 View Post
I just got What Is Mathematics: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods, Second Edition. It's by Richard Courant, Herbert Robbins and revised by Ian Stewart. I'm REALLY looking forward to solidifying my knowledge of the really basic parts of mathematics. Hopefully, it'll answer some questions I have about the fundamental concepts.
A great book you just got. The beauty of it is, its not a book that must be used in order. You can skip around as you see fit in order to meet your goals.
QuantumP7
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#3354
Dec14-12, 09:03 PM
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Quote Quote by Cod View Post
A great book you just got. The beauty of it is, its not a book that must be used in order. You can skip around as you see fit in order to meet your goals.
Thanks! I'm really loving this book so far!
analyzer
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#3355
Dec15-12, 04:58 PM
P: 21
Hello, everyone. I am from Ecuador, and plan to study math at Escuela Politécnica Nacional, one of the most prestigious universities in my country. Perhaps it is the best one in math (the one that does the most research in the area, and the one with the more PhDs teaching.)

The program places emphasis on applied math. There are two concentrations: modeling and scientific computing, and statistics and operations research. The following are the links to the department's curricula.

Modeling and scientific computing: http://www.epn.edu.ec/attachments/ar...DELIZACION.pdf

Statistics and operations research: http://www.epn.edu.ec/attachments/ar...STADISTICA.pdf

My question is whether I can pursue graduate studies in pure math with any of both curricula.

Also, I have to mention that there are two other universities in my city which offer programs in math. One is too expensive for my parents (I do not meet the requirements for scholarships). Anyway, I post the link to its math department curriculum:

http://www.usfq.edu.ec/programas_aca...tematicas.aspx

Do you think it is better preparation for a PhD in pure math?

The other university's program is the following:

http://www.uce.edu.ec/documents/2280...=1351174886263
analyzer
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#3356
Dec16-12, 09:17 AM
P: 21
Sorry. The expensive university's math curriculum is actually at the following link:

http://www.usfq.edu.ec/programas_aca...atematicas.pdf
SirIsaac
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#3357
Dec24-12, 01:16 PM
P: 3
"i loved comenetz's book, and wrote the initial rave review of that book. unfortunately i gave away my review copy as a prize to a good student. I attach my (edited) review, no longer available on the publisher's website: (see below)
unfortunately for the buyer, the price has increased from under $40 to over $125. Perhaps that is one reason my review has been removed, since it originally contained a grateful comment about the price."

Correction: mathwonk's review is now at
http://www.worldscientific.com/page/4920-review01
and the paperback edition is $67 at Amazon
converting1
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#3358
Dec26-12, 04:18 PM
P: 65
after doing maths straight for around ~5 hours I find I tend to make a lot of mistakes and usually need a break. What do you guys usually do for a break? I can't find anything to do that isn't too distracting, I don't really play video games nor watch television and work out 5 times a week already. I tried to read but again, it just is too distracting. So what should I do for a break? Or a better question, what can I do so I wont need to have a break?
ovael
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#3359
Dec27-12, 02:28 AM
P: 7
“All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room.”
-Blaise Pascal

You could also lie down if you have a bed or sofa available. Perhaps even take a nap. Or take a little walk outside.
mathwonk
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#3360
Dec27-12, 01:51 PM
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i usually walk around the block and then get back at it. short exercise breaks like that are quite helpful, and better than no breaks at all.
n10Newton
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#3361
Dec28-12, 09:09 AM
P: 108
Mathwonk can you give yours Mathematics Department Undergraduate Course Syllabus.and Books used in each semester. There is syllabus given by you but that is of 2006.
N5soulkishin
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#3362
Dec30-12, 11:59 PM
P: 11
this is an awesome thread what are the job prospects for mathematicians for theoretical mathematics?
mathwonk
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Jan3-13, 01:34 PM
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n10Newton,, does this help?

http://www.math.uga.edu/undergraduat...ndsyllabi.html
mathwonk
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#3364
Jan3-13, 02:16 PM
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N5soulkishin, even in pure math, learn as much as possible about computers, beginning with how to type your own papers in TeX. Job prospects are better the more you know about computers in my opinion. Today everyone needs to maintain a/or many web pages, possibly even prepare lectures in computer format, and type papers in technical formatting. Those who actually understand how to manage accounts in the cloud for others can earn far more in the business service world.
n10Newton
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#3365
Jan3-13, 11:58 PM
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Quote Quote by mathwonk View Post
Thanks for that.

Can you list some journals also.I read the thread whole but not found any,when I was in Pre-University i read the canadian CRUX for IMO preparation. Currently I am going through journals from MAA. Name some others.
mathwonk
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#3366
Jan4-13, 06:13 PM
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what are you looking for?


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