Math and Physics Double Major?

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  • Thread starter MidgetDwarf
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  • #1
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I will be attending Cal State Long Beach as a math major in the fall semester. I have completed Calculus(1,2,3), Intro Linear Algebra, Intro to ODE, and Discrete Mathematics. All my general education is completed. I will be 26 years old this year with no kids. I do not really care for going out. I have fun with paper and pencil, working through a math or physics book.

I am currently taking the electricity and magnetism portion of introductory physics (calculus based). I am enjoying every moment of it.

I am not sure if a double major is viable. Since I am going to a state school, my tuition is waived, and I got a few scholarships. Therefore, my Bachelors will be free and I would not have to work during this time.

I like both math and physics. I lean more towards Pure Mathematics, but I do like some applied math. I know that a math major is very hard. It requires a lot of hard work. I am not sure whether adding a physics major will make it impossible.

I want to go to graduate school for mathematics. My career goals are to maybe work in industry. Not sure what industry sector. I would later like to teach both Math and Physics at the community college level. Mathematical Physics is something that is intriguing to me. I had a college professor who had a lasting impact on me. He had 2 Phd's in Math/Physics. Gave us the rigor but did not forget the intuition. He said that learning physics helped him better understand the mathematics he was doing. I believe that he was an amazing teacher, because he was able to see ideas from 2 different view points.

Should I just add physics courses I find interesting. Or will a double major in math and physics be beneficial in the long run? I plan to continue studying until my brain gives out.
 

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  • #2
DrSteve
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I am not sure if a double major is viable.
Your other questions are moot until you answer this one. Talk to your department admin and sort this out first.
 
  • #3
symbolipoint
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Physics and Mathematics together are great, but look for something practical, too, in case you want to have more appeal to industrial employers. How about some courses in Engineering and Computer Science (or programming)?
 
  • #4
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Physics and Mathematics together are great, but look for something practical, too, in case you want to have more appeal to industrial employers. How about some courses in Engineering and Computer Science (or programming)?
there are a few courses in Engineering I have an interest in taking. My ODE professor who has a masters in Aerospace Engineering, always raved about fluid mechanics and signal processing. Strength of Materials seems fun.

Programming is something I need to work on. I have a numerical analysis book I would like to start before the ending of this year. I was thinking using Numerical Analysis to learn Math lab and Mathematica. Maybe I can self-study programming and not take classes for it? I took an intro C++ course and I did not like it. Learning to code was fun, I liked finding the errors in my spaghetti code. However, the instructor regurgitated the book to us during lecture. Not sure if this is typical of computer science classes.

I spoke to a suit at Long Beach today. They said that I can double major. The only condition is that I have to complete the last course in general physics (modern physics) in order to do so.
 
  • #5
symbolipoint
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MidgetDwarf,
You are well prepared to continue onto what you want to accomplish. Employers in industry will want to know what you know how to do FOR THEM. What equipment can you operate? What do you know how to build and what do you know how to repair? Can you help to design something and do some of the labor in handling tools or instruments? If something undesirable happens, can you find a remedy? Can you test your proposed remedy?
 
  • #6
DrSteve
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Should I just add physics courses I find interesting. Or will a double major in math and physics be beneficial in the long run? I plan to continue studying until my brain gives out.
Lots of things are going on going on simultaneously in your original post. Nothing wrong with double majoring in physics and math, unless you plan to get a PhD in pure mathematics, in which case I fail to see the point. If you plan to get a PhD in mathematical physics, then it made more sense. You won't be getting a job (easily) in industry with a PhD in math, however.
 

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