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Applied Math or Discrete?

  1. Jul 10, 2008 #1
    I want to choose either one of these as a second major. Problem is, I'm undecided. My current major is pure math; I want another major so that I have a escape door to the corporate job market in case I decide to stir away from academia. Which one of these two disciplines would benefit me the most?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2008 #2
    One escape door to the corporate world if you're majoring in math would be to double major in statistical economics and aim to be an actuary. Make beaucoup bucks.
  4. Jul 10, 2008 #3
    Statistics is a popular double with math as said above.
  5. Jul 10, 2008 #4
    I don't think I could do statistics, not as major, not for a job. I just find it to be dull and boring...
  6. Jul 10, 2008 #5
    I tried to convince myself a few times to try to become an actuary, but it just isn't happening. I don't care what the pay is.
  7. Jul 10, 2008 #6
    Well then, if you don't want to mix whatever you have with something more "practical" in the real world as your backdoor, then just research a position that you might want to escape to and just fulfill the requirements for that then.

    There could be infinite possibilities, it's just that math and statistics works well together for your scenario.

    If you don't want to do that, look into engineering.
  8. Jul 11, 2008 #7
    Applied and Discrete Math are more available to me than other options. Between the two, which one fits the bill the better?
  9. Jul 11, 2008 #8
    Depending on your program, applied math usually comes along with a concentration in lets say, physics, engineering, etc.

    Therefore, applied math would be your best bet for the "commercial" industry than going pure.

    That is, unless you want to teach and research, but that's not what I'm assuming!
  10. Jul 11, 2008 #9
    Discrete math, in my opinion, is more interesting, and it leaves you open to opportunities in computer science type stuff. But it's all up to you.
  11. Jul 11, 2008 #10
    The thing is, applied covers such a broad range of disciplines. It really depends on your program.

    If discrete offers the programs such as what was said above (CS), and you're thinking about software engineering in the future, then by all means take that path.

    The problem is in applied math programs, CS might be integrated into the concentration, which is why it's dependent on the school you're in.
  12. Jul 12, 2008 #11
    Well that's a first time I hear of a bachelor's (?) route in discrete maths.

    Usually they break it into:
    pure maths
    applied maths
    statistics and study of operations.

    You may take courses in discrete maths from the cs department but not a degree in such a field.
    Can you bring a link to this degree in discrete maths (just out of curiosity)?
  13. Jul 12, 2008 #12
    Georgia Tech has two options. BS in Discrete and BS in Applied. Kind of lame if you ask me.
  14. Jul 12, 2008 #13
    Here's the link: http://www.math.uwaterloo.ca/CandO_Dept/. They call it combinatorics and optimization but it's the equivalent of discrete math. Also, here's the link for applied math: http://www.math.uwaterloo.ca/AM_Dept/.
  15. Jul 15, 2008 #14
    I agree that an actuary position is boring; the work they do is fantastically boring. All of this is in my opinion.

    Yet, I think having many *applied* stats courses would help your case and could be applied to several other areas than an actuary, e.g., data mining etc. Maybe a bit of programming, too.

    Frankly, I would not care so much about a second major or what not in applied/ discrete math if your resume was on my desktop (or laptop depending on the day).
  16. Jul 15, 2008 #15
    Here's the link to the requirements for the degree at my school: http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/colleges/cos/math/ugrad/mathdis/geninfo.php

    To the OP: All the DM majors I know have gone on to computer science type jobs, doing cryptography and the like. Are you interested in that?
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