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Programs Pure Math or Applied Mathematics

  1. Apr 19, 2016 #1
    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.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2016 #2
    Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Apr 24, 2016 #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.
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