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Discrete vs. Applied Mathematics

  1. May 11, 2008 #1
    So, I am interested in majoring in math at Georgia Tech starting this summer, and was wondering what the difference between discrete and applied mathematics is. Any information is greatly appreciated.

    Also, what does anyone think about double majoring in math and physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2008 #2
    I go to Georgia Tech and know several people in both majors -

    Discrete Math is essentially a combination of computer science and math. Discrete Math majors take classes on things like algorithms, combinatorics, graph theory, etc., along with a number of computer science courses. I know a Discrete Math major who just graduated this semester and is now working for the NSA in Maryland. Also, everyone I know who is a discrete math major (not many admittedly, but there aren't very many of them) couldn't decide whether to major in math or computer science and so ended up at the happy middle ground.

    Applied Math doesn't have as many required classes, so you have more freedom on what to take. There is a much greater focus on Analysis classes than DM (4 classes compared to 1), but less focus on discrete math (Applied Combinatorics being the only required discrete math class).

    I am very much considering adding Applied Math as a second major (I'm a Physics major right now working towards a Math minor), and its probably the most common double major combination at GT (I have no data to support this, just anecdotal evidence). They work together very well, so even though a double major requires at minimum an extra 36 hours, Applied Math only adds another 39 hours of required classes on top of what a Physics major needs to take, so you don't need to stick around for 170 credit hours or anything like that (since 3 of those hours can just be a technical elective in the Physics major).
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