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Pure Maths

  1. Oct 28, 2005 #1
    i am now studying pure maths in uni. is it possible for someone to tell me wht kind of jobs would pure maths lead to? i believe it would be some jobs tht requires analytical and theorectical skill. bt is tht any exact examples pleasE?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2005 #2


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    If you are going into really "pure" math, you can pretty much expect to wind up in a college or university. There are some government agencies that do pure research but those are usually temporary positions filled by university faculty. That doesn't necessarily mean teaching- many universities have pure "research" faculty who do little or no teaching- just research. However, you had better be ready to "pay your dues" teaching undergraduate courses while publishing enough to get those jobs!

    All that said, college teaching, even at a small, non-research college is not at all a bad job!
  4. Oct 28, 2005 #3
    yea but is there anything besides research and teaching really?
  5. Oct 28, 2005 #4
    One of my uncles did a math degree & he got a job as a programmer, using the stuff he learned in just 2 courses he took as part of his degree. now he's some sort of human resources manager for the BC ministry of agriculture & land (formerly min of forests) who hires programmers. he says he NEVER (i guess 1% of the time...) hires computer science graduates to do programming jobs. that's because comp sci students only know how to program; they have nothing that they can apply to computers or programming. it's like he says "write up a program that will give me the area of a circle" & the comp sci person will think "well geez i know all about programming & coding but wtf how do i find the area of a circle?" it's not really that simple (might be a program to solve a pde numerically, etc) but you get the idea. it would be much easier for a math student who knows a bit about programming to pick up some more programming than it would be for a comp sci person to pick up more partial differential equations, stats, etc. basically what you'd want to say in a cover letter if you were applying for a job like that you'd say "hey maybe i'm not the best at coding but LOOK AT ALL THIS MATH I CAN APPLY!!" that would be groups, (finite) fields, combinatorics, linear algebra, statistics, number theory, probability...
    canada's communications security establishment is also hiring cryptographers who would need to know all that stuff also.
    it was that same uncle who gave me the heads-up about a "marine security analyst" job opening with transport canada. it involves a lot of collection of information/intelligence, analysis, and synthesis of a report/briefing/presentation. the ad for the job said we have to send a cover letter explainng exactly why we meet ALL the requirements for the job & i didn't do one because i couldn't find where to send it to (couldn't find an email or mailing address) but they sent me an email a couple weeks ago. since this would be my first real job since graduating & i didn't do coop all i've got going for me is my math degree & the skills i picked up while studying for it. my brother thinks they must be really interested because they overlooked my little omission in my application. they sent me a .ppt attachment with that email that was riddled with inconsistencies, grammatical errors, a spelling mistake, etc also. as it turns out, being able to find mistakes in abstract math texts is actually useful. if one can do that, editing plain english is so much easier. it's like math gives someone superhuman attention to detail due to its abstractness. if i get an interview i'll try to bring that up since the job involves a lots of editing & writing & they could use someone with a good eye for that. i'll try to not be a smartass about it. one of my other uncles is an environmental engineer who works in calgary; he said someone with a math background would be well-suited for a tech writer job also.
    edit: try monster.ca's major-to-career converter
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2005
  6. Oct 28, 2005 #5
    One notable exception to teaching is crytography, but since most cryptographers work for the government, usually the goverment trains them. My own situation is like fourier jr said. I'm only an undergraduate, but I just started a job programming in Matlab for a soil physicist. I get to use fourier transforms and complex variables on signal analysis.
  7. Oct 28, 2005 #6
    /\ /\ did you do much programming as part of your math degree?
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