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Indecisive with a dual major Science and Engineering

  1. Sep 22, 2014 #1
    Hey guys,

    Science I want to major in either applied mathematics or theoretical physics. I know it sounds cute to most real mathematicians but I love solving integrals (serious) and even in my free time I print out sheets at home and do numerous of weird integral calculus problems. However, I have a big interest of the mathematics behind physics via Quantum Mechanics or Quantum Electrodynamics (Path integral formulation) and even special relativity (space-time) where I would have the chance to solve integrals that would have four or six folds (four + integrals). Lol.

    As for Engineering, it's a toss up between civil or electrical. Well, I feel like I do not have a chance to get into Civil because it's too competitive and there's gonna be a lot of year 12 kids wanting to Civil at Monash whereareas Electrical is not as competitive as Civil. The thing is that I really don't mind doing electrical because compared to most engineering fields it has the most maths (which I love). However, civil has more jobs than electrical which somewhat frightens me because I don't want to graduate and be jobless. Also do you think there's gonna be more jobs for electrical?


    So what do you think would be the best combination for me?

    Science(Applied Mathematics)/Engineering(Civil) or
    Science(Theoretical Physics)/Engineering(Electrical)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2014 #2
    Theoretical physics and EE is a pretty poor combo, as they deal with quite different issues. But EE + Applied maths seems to be a good mix, and theoretical physics + applied maths is even better. Civil engineering maths is not that difficult from what I know, but even if you go civil taking more math classes can't hurt.

    Take my post with a grain of salt tho as I'm not very familiar with the US university system.
  4. Sep 22, 2014 #3
    I live in Australia.

    I'm a science student wanting to transfer into a double degree program. Some science and engineering units cross-over.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2014
  5. Sep 22, 2014 #4


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    I can't speak for Australia in particular, but there are lots and lots of electrical engineering jobs out there. I mean, think about it. Anything technological these days from cell phones to tablets to well, any technological gadget is all about electrical engineering.

    [Edit: I also have to disagree with the comment about EE and physics being a poor combo. They share a lot of common mathematics such as Fourier analysis for example, among many other things. Electromagnetic theory is common to both as another example.]
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  6. Sep 22, 2014 #5
    Thanks dude. What do you think would complement well with EE? Theoretical Physics or Applied Mathematics?
  7. Sep 22, 2014 #6


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    Follow your interests! :)
  8. Sep 22, 2014 #7
    I majored in EE and Physics. I originally went with EE because it looked like a degree that would be easy to get a job with and had a lot of math. I liked my Engineering classes, but it took a few years for me to realize that I wasn't particularly excited about being an Engineer. I much preferred the research, and theoretical end of things, so I added Physics as a second major.

    Getting a job was incredibly easy for me, but it wasn't in EE or Physics. Right now, I'm primarily a Computer Programmer. It's not my favorite kind of job, but it pays the bills, and I do occasionally get to do programming for research projects.
  9. Sep 22, 2014 #8


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    I saw the title and thought Duel Major... I choose pistols at twenty paces!
  10. Sep 22, 2014 #9


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    By the way, if you are interested in electrical engineering, physics and mathematics, you might consider an emphasis in information theory. It's a subject that transcends them all. It's all of them, yet none of them.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  11. Sep 22, 2014 #10
    Yeah a somewhat more applied type of physics
    Fair enough, but theoretical physics includes allot of classes in particle physics, Quantum mechanics, statistical physics and so on. A more applied/experimental physics specialization or applied maths would be much better I think.
  12. Sep 22, 2014 #11

    jim hardy

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    Check into at least one course in modern control system theory. Math intensive yet directly applies to real world.

    Jobs ? just wait'll the grid starts getting smart .........
  13. Sep 23, 2014 #12


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    Hmmm, in general I would agree with you, but cases do exist when they compliment each other well. In EE specializations dealing with semiconductors (say, VLSI studies), you can run into cases where tunneling effects become significant. Whether this is relevant to this thread depends on OP's interest I guess.
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