1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Pure Math Major Questions

  1. Oct 27, 2008 #1
    Hi, I have just finished first year in general math and am going to choose the pure math major at my university (uwaterloo). I have a few questions about undergraduate math education.

    I wish to do research in math before I graduate, what should I be doing? I am currently learning analysis through rudin, and linear algebra through friedberg on my own. Should I focus my education on the core areas of Pure Math? Or should I be trying to get through some papers now of a field of interest?

    What strategy should I take for choosing courses. Should I try and max out on pure math courses, and eventually in my 3rd and 4th year choose hard upper level courses like functional analysis, topology, measure theory, ... or choose a few and spend more time learning outside the classroom.

    I am looking for a second major, I like computer science but am also interested in the applied math area. I would need to take a few physics courses and a couple courses in differential equations (ode, pde). Would applied math more than cs? CS would get me more and better coop jobs, while applied math seems more true to a mathematics education. For cs, I would have room for only the minimum needed to graduate with a cs second major.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2008 #2
    I am in no way a mathematician or even majoring in math, but just from reading your post it appears you might have answered your own question.

    Computer science for a better career outlook

    Applied math to be more of a mathematician
  4. Oct 27, 2008 #3
    True, that was a minor question, I guess I was trying to ask how important are differential equations to upper mathematics? There are no diff eq courses included in my pure math major option. I am seeing them mentioned everywhere though.
  5. Oct 28, 2008 #4
    For sophomores, most universities make you take one or two courses from each branch of Mathematics (Algebra, Analysis, Number Theory, Prob/Stats etc). Figure out which field (or two) you could see yourself doing research in, and then load up of those courses Junior/Senior year. Don't worry about research until you've taken some upper level classes.

    Statistics is a great second major, as is Computer Science. Both are very employable.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook