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Mathematician after Electronics engineering

  1. Sep 8, 2013 #1
    Can you become a mathematician (work in research in think tanks, or teach in the universities) with masters degree in electronics engineering?
    Or do I need to have a second masters degree in mathematics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2013 #2


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    Most university teaching jobs require a PhD; however they do hire adjunct lecturers with MS degrees. These don't pay well, and are usually treated as temporary, semester to semester appointments.

    I have no experience with so-called "think tanks".
  4. Sep 8, 2013 #3
    What I meant to say was: would I be treated as a mathematician with PhD in electronics engineering.
    I am asking this because I met people with a degree (not sure if MS or PhD) in EE who called themselves mathematicians. And they work with digital electronics such as computers, but they also work in different math researches.
    And I want to know if you can still do this (these people studied EE in 1950s) or do you need a second degree in mathematics.
  5. Sep 8, 2013 #4


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    I know quite a few PhD electrical engineers who are very good with mathematics - they mostly do image reconstruction from synthetic aperture radar, CAT scans or MRI, or advanced optical design. Some of them have taught on the side - usually optics or electrical engineering courses - as adjunct lecturers or at community colleges.

    I think of them (and myself) as applied mathematicians.

    I don't know the answer to your question, but I suspect a second degree in computer science would be more productive.
  6. Sep 8, 2013 #5
    Why do you suspect a second degree in computer science would be more productive?
    I have always thought that electronics engineering deals mostly with hardware(a lot more than in CS), but also with software (a lot less than in CS, but still enough to work as a programmer) and more mathematics is taught in electronics engineering than in CS.
  7. Sep 8, 2013 #6


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    While I do know many EE PhDs that are strong mathematically, even those have typically only taken the equivalent of a BS in math, perhaps with one or two graduate level courses. In the department I was in for grad school, the comms/signal processing / controlls PhD students usuall took most or all the undergrad math courses recommended for preparation for math grad school. If you want to be "treated like a mathematician" you most likely need the math PhD - at least in a university. If you are in industry or a "think tank" then it all comes down to what you produce. If you have a track record of publishing innovative mathematics related to your application area, then you will continue to get that kind of work. Chances are you will also have to bring in some of your own funding, and likely do much of your publication "in your own time." That is what I have seen at my company.

  8. Sep 10, 2013 #7
    Engineers use "Some mathematics" for their work, but they are not as good as mathematicians in mathematics, there is a lot of maths staff they didn't cover. An engineer cannot call theirself a mathematician or physicists, physicist are very good in theory and some of applications. Ebgineers are interested in maths they need, mathematicians do a lot of maths to discover new maths or solution to problems.
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