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Applied mathematics, electrical engineering, or both

  1. Oct 11, 2011 #1
    I'm starting my second year at school, and knowing that I will have to declare my major soon I'm torn between the possible choices. Officially, I am in the engineering program but I took a lot of extra credits in math last year since it interests me so doing the double major program in engineering-applied mathematics would not be difficult. On the other hand, I can major only in electrical engineering and have the security of being able to pursue an m.s. in applied math if I continue with the advanced math electives. Or, I could major in applied mathematics with enough engineering electives to go for the M.S. in engineering... The problem is just that I'm very overwhelmed by all this at this point in my life and I still don't know which field will suit my interests, and I'm afraid that if I change studies after my B.S. it will hurt me. The reason I've been taking the electrical engineering electives is because they seem to utilize more of the advanced mathematics (however at this level my perception could be wrong).

    Ultimately, this comes down to deciding whether I want to do the masters program in e.e. or math, but I don't know enough about the programs and what they encompass to decide which one interests me. Nor do I personally know anyone that could tell me.

    So my question is basically what are the differences/similarities between the focuses of the two disciplines at the graduate level and beyond, and what would the ideal path to each one be?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope there are some students who have gone through the same experience that could offer suggestions
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2011 #2
    I know you're talking about grad school but I think my experience can at least give you some ideas. I'm an undergrad in EE right now but have considered Applied Math as a major at two different schools. After talking to advisers from both schools, the programs were like night and day. One major was a pure math major with 2 courses in numerical analysis and 1 in statistics. The other was what I would call computational math, a blend of CS and Applied math; this one had many programming courses and large projects within the math classes.

    I would try to set up an appointment with an Applied Math adviser at your school and ask them. The adviser that I met with answered all my questions, perhaps even more than I needed. Regardless, good luck with your decision I know it's a hard one. :smile:
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