Pure Math or Applied Mathematics

In summary, the conversation revolves around the speaker's dilemma in choosing between attending a community college or a university for their interest in mathematics and physics. Their financial constraints limit them to only attending Cal State Long Beach or Cal State Los Angeles. They are considering an applied math program at Long Beach, which offers the option to also focus on engineering or physics. However, they are unsure if an applied math degree will provide the rigorous proofs they desire and if they can continue to learn pure math on their own after graduation. The speaker also mentions having a support group and a job opportunity if they choose to attend Long Beach. After receiving advice from their mentor and discussing with their mentor, the speaker has decided to attend Long Beach.
  • #1
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I have a big choice to make which is not letting me sleep or study properly. For the last few years I have been attending community college. For financial reasons I left school during the 9th grade. Both of my parents were terminally ill. My father passed away, my mother still lives. I placed into arithmetic at the community college and have completed all the mathematics possible at this level. ie., Cal 3, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Mathematics.

I got into some great school. The schools were Boulder, USC, Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. For economic reasons I can only attend Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Los Angeles. Here is were my issue lies.

I like mathematics for the sake of mathematics. I also enjoy physics. I am going to take physics classes as electives at either Cal State la or Cal State Long Beach. I was looking into pure mathematics. However, Long Beach does not have a pure math program. They have a great applied math program. Three of my professors went there and they ended up going to respected schools for graduate work. One went to Harvey Mudd, another to Princeton, and the final to Berkeley. All teachers said their time at Long Beach was great and it trained them for graduate work.

Long Beach has an applied math program, where I can also have an emphasis in either Engineering or Physics. I can get two degrees in the same time and go to graduate school. Mathematical Physics is something I am interested in doing. There is no pure math program at Long Beach only at Los Angeles.

However, I am not sure what an Applied Math Program is. I like proofs, I like knowing were things come from. One of my other professors majored in Pure Math. Has a PHD from Berkeley and they advised me to go into PURE mathematics. I can find employment and I can learn pure math on my free time. She said she was kind of forced to teach because it was the only job she could find upon graduation. Does applied mathematics focus on rigorous proofs?

I see myself learning mathematics and physics until the day I die. I have no plans of getting married.

If I go to Long Beach, I have a roommate. My best friend who is doing Engineering and we can get an apartment for 500 dollars from a person I know. My physics teacher I had at the community college also works here. Therefore, I have a support group if I go to Long Beach. She also offered me a job tutoring which would pay around $38 dollars an hour while I go to school. Meaning I would have more time devoted to studies.

Is going for an applied math degree/ Physics or Engineering option the right way to go? Is it possible to learn pure mathematics after I graduate on my own? I consider myself a great self learner. Sorry for the rant. I am just confused as to what to do.
 
  • #3
No, thread can be locked. A forum member sent me a private message regarding my question and I spoke to my mentor. I decided to go to Long Beach.
 

What is the difference between pure math and applied math?

Pure mathematics refers to the study of mathematical concepts and structures for their own sake, without any immediate application in the real world. Applied mathematics, on the other hand, uses mathematical tools and techniques to solve real-world problems and create practical solutions.

Which type of mathematics is more relevant in today's world?

Both pure and applied mathematics have their own significance in today's world. Pure mathematics helps to develop new theories and concepts that may have practical applications in the future, while applied mathematics is more directly applicable to solving current problems and developing new technologies.

What are some examples of pure math and applied math?

Examples of pure mathematics include number theory, abstract algebra, and topology. Examples of applied mathematics include statistics, optimization, and mathematical modeling in fields such as engineering, physics, and economics.

Can someone be equally proficient in both pure and applied mathematics?

While it is possible for someone to have a strong understanding and proficiency in both pure and applied mathematics, most individuals tend to specialize in one area or the other. However, having a broad understanding of both can be beneficial in certain fields.

How does studying pure or applied mathematics contribute to scientific research?

Pure mathematics provides the foundation for many scientific theories and concepts, while applied mathematics allows for the development and application of these theories to solve real-world problems. Both are crucial in advancing scientific research and understanding of the world around us.

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