Is 27 too late to become a mathematician or something else that is math-intensive?

  • #1
I'm almost 27 and just starting calculus. I really like math and want to do something that uses it intensively, at my age is it realistic to do work that is heavy in math, considering I am at the level I am now, and will take me a few years I presume to be past undergrad level math?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
chiro
Science Advisor
4,790
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Hey quixoticquant and welcome to the forums.

Depending on the kind of math you wish to pursue, I would say yes to some areas and no to others: it's not that you can't do it, it's just that the likelihood would be low for something like pure mathematics research as compared to say applied areas of mathematics.

You should point out your specific aspirations to get specific advice.

I personally think you can learn and get up to speed regardless of your age, but just be aware that you won't be like the 27 year old who has been doing this kind of thing compulsively since 18 and you shouldn't try and make a comparison that you somehow inferior as a result: the other person has been at it for longer and naturally you would expect them to be better in many ways just like any expert is likely to be better than an amateur in any field (not just mathematics).

You may want to wait until you finish the first couple of years (or your undergraduate degree) before you make a decision about pursuing mathematics: you may like it now but you may not later and even if you don't like it later, your background will still be very useful no doubt in other endeavors.

If you want to become better at something and put in the effort and energy, then in all likelihood, this is what will happen.
 

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