Age Limit for Math Degree

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  • #1
mathdad
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In your opinion, how old is too old to consider a four-year math degree? Can a person who is middle age return to college to major in math even if the degree itself will not lead to a rewarding career?
 

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  • #2
Theia
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When I was in university, there was a sixty years old pensioner studying math and theoretical physics just because he liked it... (Smile)
 
  • #3
MarkFL
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My mother will soon be 79 years old. If she were to tell me that she wished to enroll at the local university to get a degree in mathematics, I would give her my full support, as I would for anyone regardless of age. To me, the reasons to study mathematics, or anything of interest, is not primarily about turning that into a career, but much more importantly for personal fulfillment and enrichment. :D
 
  • #4
mathdad
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When I was in university, there was a sixty years old pensioner studying math and theoretical physics just because he liked it... (Smile)

The younger population of students might find it a little odd to see a middle aged person in Calculus 1, for example.
 
  • #5
MarkFL
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The younger population of students might find it a little odd to see a middle aged person in Calculus 1, for example.

Perhaps, but they will just have to deal with it as they will learn to do with many things they might find "a little odd" as they learn about the real world, and will likely struggle to keep up with the more motivated mature student whose study habits are probably more focused. ;)

The more mature student is there because they want to be, not because their parents told them either go to school, or get a job and move out. :D
 
  • #6
mathdad
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My mother will soon be 79 years old. If she were to tell me that she wished to enroll at the local university to get a degree in mathematics, I would give her my full support, as I would for anyone regardless of age. To me, the reasons to study mathematics, or anything of interest, is not primarily about turning that into a career, but much more importantly for personal fulfillment and enrichment. :D


I have been saying this for years. When I was 37 years old (long ago), I wanted to major in math. I had no family support. I had no support from friends.

The years came and left and my dream to have a math degree faded into oblivion. As a middle aged math, I am now learning online what I should have studied years ago. My life would surely be in a better place in terms of income, housing, relationship, etc.
 
  • #7
Jameson
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I think there is probably a mental peak of our lives, but that doesn't mean that anyone is ever too old to pursue math. When I was 18 I was a terrible college student. Went back for another degree at 25 and grad school at 27. I took it much more seriously than my first time and was a much better student.

In my time teaching during grad school I had a number of middle aged students and even a few in their 60's. I always enjoyed their presence and different perspective. It was a great thing to have.

So in short I think it's great when someone tries to further their education, no matter the age. :)
 
  • #8
I like Serena
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The younger population of students might find it a little odd to see a middle aged person in Calculus 1, for example.

Heh. I found that the younger population tends to look only at their own circles, and tends to ignore anyone who doesn't fit into it.
In other words, the younger population is, or should be, irrelevant to anyone who wants to do whatever he or she wants to do.
 
  • #9
topsquark
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Personally I plan to rent out an extra room at my nursing home to store the textbooks in my library. I'm not quitting until I'm senile. And, of course, there are many who would argue that I already am...I study Quantum Physics after all.

-Dan
 
  • #10
mathdad
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The internet is a great place to learn just about anything for the sake of learning. If someone is seeking a different career path requiring advanced math, then going back to college makes sense.
 

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