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Life Path

  1. May 25, 2008 #1
    Hello,

    I am currently in Australia. I want to become a professor in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and do research in those fields. I also what to use my ability in IT and computers. More specifically, i would like to work with Apple computers.

    Can i do both? That is, can i be a professor and work with apple in projects at the same time? Would this be advantageous or disadvantageous?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2008 #2
    I have to admit, I'm a little confused by your question. I'll answer it both ways:
    1) Apple computers are quite popular in academia. You shouldn't have any problems using one if that is what you prefer.
    2) Apple Computer is a computer company. They have next to no interest in mathematics or theoretical physics. If you want to work with Apple Computer, get a computer science degree.
     
  4. May 26, 2008 #3
    I don't really understand what you're asking. Do you want a part-time appointment as a professor, and part-time as an IT professional? I don't think that's realistic today. Maybe 20 years ago, you could have been "the computer guy" in a department, but not today.
     
  5. May 26, 2008 #4
    I was just wondering if i could both work as a professor of math and theo physics AND work at apple (designer/developer) at the same time?
     
  6. May 26, 2008 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Why not toss in fighter pilot, symphony orchestra musician, and professional athlete in the mix as well?

    You're asking to hold three jobs, at least two of which are highly competitive, simultaneously.

    To get an idea of how realistic this is, how many Apple employees today are also professors in two fields?
     
  7. May 27, 2008 #6
    Judging by you sarcasm, i suppose it sounds rather ridiculous
     
  8. May 27, 2008 #7

    tgt

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    I once wanted to do theoretical physics and mathematics. So two of the three you wanted to do. But now, mathematics is even too broad for me. In fact one branch of mathematics like algebra is still too broad. Even one area of algebra like group theory is too broad.
     
  9. May 27, 2008 #8
    I'm a journalist, a spy for the CIA, an astronaut, and a circus clown, all the while having won countless Nobel prizes and Fields medals. So it can be done.
     
  10. May 27, 2008 #9

    Defennder

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    Seriously is there anyone in history or contemporary times who has held prominent positions in both academia and industry simultaneously?
     
  11. May 27, 2008 #10
    In history, probably...
     
  12. May 27, 2008 #11

    tgt

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    Von Nueman for one. Infact he literally would fit being a theoretical physcist, mathematician and if apple computers did exist during his time, would probably wanted to sought his specialties as he was after all the founder of modern computing.
     
  13. May 27, 2008 #12

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    Take a look at the last sentence. One way to judge how likely something is is to look at all the existing examples of it. Are there many? Are there any?
     
  14. May 27, 2008 #13

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    They tend to fall into two categories - professors in business schools (obviously), and professors in technical areas who form startups. Examples of the latter would be Amar Bose (Bose) or Harold Edgerton (EG&G).
     
  15. May 27, 2008 #14
    I was also going to suggest that a lot of engineering professors that I've met were recruited by the university after being very successful in industry, and a couple of them maintain their industry work while being adjunct professors or what have you, but it seems like most end up having to choose one or the other.

    So it's not impossible, and I guess not even that uncommon, to work simultaneously in industry and academia. I've never met anyone who maintained a lifelong career in both, though. When you add the specific detail that the academic work is in math and theoretical physics, then it seems even less likely, in light of the fact that, as mentioned before, Apple doesn't really need any theoretical physicists.
     
  16. May 27, 2008 #15
    I would say Ivan Sutherland also managed to be prominent in both. Although you could argue that he moved back and forth between them rather than doing them simultaneously.
     
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