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Math Pure Math

  1. Mar 25, 2010 #1
    I am a senior in high school this year and am thinking about majoring in pure mathematics. If I do, what types of jobs would I be able to get with a BS or MS? If I do go pure math, is it better to get a teaching degree or to double major (if I do it would most likely be astrophysics related). I would like to do research, but how feasible is that with only a math degree?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2010 #2


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    If you want to do research you will need to get a PhD. I don't know how competitive it is in the states but typically people doing research have Class 1 or 2 honors and know their stuff well. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the candidates also have done grad level math in their undergrad course.

    For pure maths there are organizations that high these category of mathematician like the NSA and other related government organizations.

    I'm doing education units myself and intend on doing a masters while i'm employed teaching. If you're looking into teaching you should a) want to work and have a genuine interest in helping kids and b) know your subject well. If you would prefer to be teaching in uni then aim for good grades and look hopefully you will get a PhD spot where you will have teaching responsibilities on top of your research and other related responsibilities.

    If you don't make the cutoff to get into a PhD program straight away, you could either a) try and get into a masters program and work your *** off to be competitive for research or b) get some work experience and get accepted into a masters or research program.

    Good luck with it all.
  4. Mar 25, 2010 #3
    But do you think a double major in astrophysics would help my chances of getting into a good program/research or do you think it wont make much difference? I would be happy doing research in astronomy related fields also, but I prefer math.
  5. Mar 25, 2010 #4
    My advise is not to take pure math alone. Try to double major in something else, like computer science. You might hate it, but it's good to have in case things don't work out.
  6. Mar 25, 2010 #5


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    If you're going to get a PhD in pure math you will more than likely want to extend the current framework of mathematics possibly developing new tools of analysis, discover or prove theorems and find relationships between seemingly abstract areas of modern mathematics.

    If you want to do astrophysics and math a double major would be a good option. I would think that if you want to do astrophysics then you will need to do a BS in physics and math double major which is pretty full on for a solid course in the two fields. The astrophysics courses are specialization courses.

    Another area besides differential geometry I can think of is work in analysis and signal processing. If you're interested in the math side that could be one area of research that you can do, since signal processing is a huge thing in the analysis of data in particular with something like astrophysics.

    Hopefully someone with an appropriate background can chime in and give you some more practical advice.
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