Choosing Between Math and Applied Math: A Physics Major's Perspective

In summary, the conversation is about a physics major considering a dual major in either Math or Applied math. The requirements for both majors are similar, with Applied math requiring one less and two more courses. The individual is wondering which major would make them more hireable, with the assumption that companies would find Applied math more appealing. The response suggests that having experience using software packages and being able to explain mathematical concepts to non-experts would be beneficial for job interviews.
  • #1
pergradus
138
1
I'm a physics major, but I want to do a dual major in either Math or Applied math.

Basically the requirements are almost the same, except applied math requires one less and two more courses than the math major. I'd be taking the same electives either way (ODE, PDE, Linear Algebra, complex variables...).

I'm wondering, from a hireability standpoint, does either one look better? My guess is that companies probably would find applied math a bit more appealing. Honestly it really just boils down to title, but just curious about some peoples opinions.
 
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  • #2
pergradus said:
I'm a physics major, but I want to do a dual major in either Math or Applied math.

Basically the requirements are almost the same, except applied math requires one less and two more courses than the math major. I'd be taking the same electives either way (ODE, PDE, Linear Algebra, complex variables...).

I'm wondering, from a hireability standpoint, does either one look better? My guess is that companies probably would find applied math a bit more appealing. Honestly it really just boils down to title, but just curious about some peoples opinions.

Hey pergradus.

If you do a subject where you have to do math where a major component involves using a software package like MATLAB, SAS or otherwise, and have to write reports, maybe give a presentation to the class and explain things in ways that non-experts can understand, then that will give you some good preparation or job interviews in my opinion.

Basically anything be it a major assignment or a project that goes from problem to solution with using mathematics to come to a conclusion and to tell someone at the other end what it all means without going over their heads is a sure winner because that is what you actually do in those kind of situations.

If this is not the kind of thing you had in mind, then that would change things but again we would need specifics to give you better advice (people here at PF).
 

1. What is the difference between math and applied math?

The main difference between math and applied math is the focus of the subject. Math is a theoretical discipline that deals with abstract concepts and principles, while applied math is the practical application of math to solve real-world problems. In other words, math is the study of numbers and their relationships, while applied math is the use of math to solve real-world problems in fields such as physics, engineering, and economics.

2. Which one is more relevant for a physics major?

Both math and applied math are important for a physics major. Physics is a highly mathematical field, and a solid understanding of both theoretical and applied math is essential for success. However, applied math may be more directly applicable to physics as it involves using mathematical principles to solve real-world problems in the field of physics.

3. Can a physics major pursue a career in either math or applied math?

Yes, a physics major can pursue a career in either math or applied math. Many physics majors go on to work in fields such as engineering, finance, and data analysis, which require strong mathematical skills. Additionally, some physics majors may choose to pursue graduate studies in math or applied math to further specialize in these areas.

4. Is it possible to study both math and applied math as a physics major?

Yes, it is possible to study both math and applied math as a physics major. Many universities offer courses in both math and applied math as part of their physics curriculum. Additionally, students can choose to take elective courses in these subjects to further their knowledge and skills in both areas.

5. How can a physics major decide between studying math or applied math?

The decision between studying math or applied math ultimately depends on the individual's interests and career goals. If you are more interested in theoretical concepts and abstract thinking, then math may be a better fit for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy using math to solve real-world problems and want to pursue a career in a field like engineering or finance, then applied math may be a better choice. Ultimately, it is important to research and explore both options to make an informed decision.

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