1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Best colleges for Applied Math?

  1. Jul 21, 2013 #1
    I'm a rising senior and Im looking to finalize the colleges I am applying to. Right now I plan on majoring in Applied Mathematics, probably with a minor in Econ.

    I'm an Indiana resident, so obviously I'm leaning towards IU and Purdue just in terms of cost. But my parents would love to move to Florida as soon as possible, so I'm looking at the New College of Florida, USF, and Florida Alantic there. I have a 29 ACT, 3.86 GPA for high school, and pretty good extracurriculars, so I don't think admission into any of these colleges will be too difficult.

    Which of these would you guys recommend for an Applied Math major? I know Purdue is known for Engineering, but I don't know how strong their math program is. New College of Florida is really catching my eye because of the location and their unique style, so they are at the top of my list as well.

    Any others I should consider or advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2013 #2
    Since you are interested in math/econ I would actually recommend going into industrial engineering. GaTech's program is one of the best in the US.
  4. Jul 21, 2013 #3
    I was actually hoping to use my skills as a financial analyst/statistician for an investment bank, or something along those lines (so a concentration in Stats would be great).

    Why do you say Industrial Engineering?
  5. Jul 21, 2013 #4
    Friendly bump.... IU vs Purdue?
  6. Jul 21, 2013 #5
    I've visited both schools, and I would say for applied math, go to Purdue. IU has a good math program and good applied aspects, but so does Purdue, and there are many other options there too. I do prefer the look of the IU campus though. On Purdue's applied math page they specifically list Mathematical Finance as one of their research areas. And in general, an applied math department tends to be stronger if there are other strong departments to collaborate with, which is the case with all of Purdue's engineering departments.

    I have to second industrial engineering as a option. You take classes in math (a decent number of prob/stat classes) along with economics and operations research classes. Industrial Engineering is a great practical degree that is at its core the applied math of planning and management. I know a lot of people who have majored in it and are going now to work for investment banks (Actually I know a lot of engineers of all types going to work for banks, but that's another story).
  7. Jul 21, 2013 #6
    Rice University has a major specifically for Applied Mathematics: CAAM (Computational And Applied Mathematics.) l I'll give you the website so you can look into it since I am not quite the expert on what the program emphasizes.
    http://www.caam.rice.edu/ They also have a Statistics major so that might be a plus.
  8. Jul 21, 2013 #7
    Do most Applied Math majors usually start out in Calculus 1? This is what I'd think I'd be starting in because I'm taking Precalculus and Trig senior year.
  9. Jul 21, 2013 #8
    I am not positive that this applies to all schools but I think it's pretty standard to begin with calc 1. At least in Canada it is (and I am hoping the US does as well). Students in honours mathematics programs begin with Honours Calculus or elementary analysis at my school.
  10. Jul 22, 2013 #9
    They're both great schools, I have a friend doing math/econ at IU who loves the program and a friend doing math/OR at purdue who loves it. I would also lean slightly towards purdue for applied math considering that they offer engineering courses which may interest you and their industrial engineering program is ranked high.
  11. Jul 24, 2013 #10
    Just visited Purdue, very awesome school. Their engineering department is very high speed/top notch, but I wonder how their AM program is.

    Are engineering jobs open to Applied Math majors? Or do many AM majors switch over to engineering?
  12. Jul 24, 2013 #11
    Applied math and engineering often do go hand in hand. I know a few applied math majors who got engineering jobs. It should be noted that not all types of engineering positions will be open to you (For example, being lead engineer in a manufacturing position is not something an applied mathematician would likely do). If you don't take any engineering classes it would be difficult to compete with someone with an engineering degree, but with a few classes you at least will be competitive for the more computational-based positions .There are some subfields in engineering where an applied mathematician is a welcome member of a team with a different outlook.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook