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Studying Maths (1st year) but not if its for me

  1. Mar 31, 2012 #1
    Hello guys,
    I am currently in my first year of studying maths and well... I thought I enjoyed it in the first term... but I really don't see the point of learning it anymore.
    I want to help other people and I am not sure how I am going to do this with a Math degree.
    I dont have any motivation to revise it or see how it is going to help others, so I am wondering if I should drop out =/

    What do you guys think? what other courses do you think will suit me?

    Sorry for this depressing post =/

    Any thoughts is much appreciated, thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2012 #2
    How do you want to help other people?
  4. Mar 31, 2012 #3
    I don't really mind, just provide some sort of service so that it solves their problems and makes them happy
  5. Mar 31, 2012 #4
  6. Mar 31, 2012 #5
    Do you think I will be able to get a job in engineering with a Math degree?
  7. Mar 31, 2012 #6
    No--switch to engineering instead of dropping out, you're only one year in and you be exempted from the calculus sequence (assuming you did ODE, PDE, Vector calc. etc).
  8. Mar 31, 2012 #7
    Nursing or med school?
  9. Mar 31, 2012 #8
    You could probably help others with math on the side while you pursue your math degree, most schools have some sort of math-help center. You could even become a math instructor of some sort after you graduate. You would then be helping people.

    Another thing to note is their is an area of applied mathematics focused around biological mathematical models which is often used to study things such as cancer cell growth. It's easy to see that this would be highly useful, and beneficial to humanity.

    If your intent on changing your degree engineering would be a good choice, things like biomedical engineering or even medical physics you will be helping people extensively with.
  10. Mar 31, 2012 #9
    http://www.infoocean.info/avatar2.jpg [Broken]How do you want to help other people?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  11. Aug 31, 2013 #10
    It sounds like you should switch to something else, possibly engineering. You could still even do a minor in math, but if you want to solve problems that the average Joe is going to care about, engineering is a better bet than a math degree. Engineers still use math, but they tend to use it very differently. If you're someone who cares about proving things rigorously you'll probably be disgusted at the barbaric way in which most engineers use mathematics, but if you don't care why math works and you just want to use it to build things and solve problems, then engineering might be a perfect fit for you. (Of course I'm exaggerating... some engineers are more math-inclined than others, but hopefully you get the point)

    If you're someone who does really like math (in the "proving theorems" sense) but you still want to do something the average Joe cares about, your options are a lot more limited, unfortunately. Teaching is the only option that I'm aware of (though there's probably more).

    Edit: by the way, in first year I wanted to do pure math, but I stopped working towards the pure math half of my double major because I was frustrated by how little the profs seemed to care about how the theorems we were proving were actually useful. So I can sympathize with you. Don't get me wrong, I respect mathematicians and I think that what they do is important, but I find that I personally enjoy being closer to the "application" side of things.
  12. Sep 1, 2013 #11
    Why not aim to teach maths? There's a great shortage of maths teachers so the subject is often taught by those with little experience, leading to much frustration and suffering all round. Qualifications in basic maths is useful for everyone, just helping a few people to become confident in basic maths would be a vast help to them and society. Can you take courses in mathematics education rather than the advanced stuff you can see little use for? Or maybe convert to a teacher training degree? As you enjoyed it in the first term, and chose to do the course, you must have some enthusiasm for at least the basic stuff... why not pass that on?
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