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Thinking about changing from Physics to Applied Mathematics/Pure mathematics

  1. Jun 25, 2011 #1
    Hello, I'm currently in the 1st year of physics (doing the 2nd semester final tests/exams now).
    I'm thinking about going to applied math/math because:
    - I think a master in physics, in Portugal, probably won't have a job. I'm not sure about this, because I really don't know where to get this information. Any ideas by the way?
    - Physics doesn't have much mathematics disciplines in it, and much of it, from what I've heard, is taught in a hurry in physics classes. It only has 2 disciplines in the 2nd year: mathematical methods of physics and differential and integral calculus III. In the 3rd year there aren't any.
    - I like physics, but only the mathematical part of physics. I don't like solving mechanics problems for example, and the parts of physics that don't involve much mathematics (like the initial part of thermodynamics I've took a peek at) don't interest me either. And experimental physics - no way :rofl:. But in the end, I like to have physics knowledge, even though I was bored while studying. Circuits are a good example: I hated studying circuits (in electromagnetism discipline), but now looking back, I like to know how circuits work and the relations between current and magnetism. But on the other hand that's true for almost anything, like biology, chemistry, etc...
    Obviously I don't know much about physics or mathematics yet, but what I've liked studying so far in physics was Maxwell's equations (a cliché I guess :tongue2:). Lagrangians seem interesting too, though I haven't studied that. I guess that what I like is mathematical physics.

    About the mathematics disciplines I've had, they were: differential and integral calculus I and II, linear algebra & analytic geometry and elements of probability and statistics. Calculus was my favourite discipline, but linear algebra & analytic geometry didn't interest me at all, because it was taught in a very abstract way (I didn't even see any geometry in it) and I saw no use to it. Now I understand the importance of linear algebra, and with a book of linear algebra I got, that shows examples applications of linear algebra and it relates more the linear algebra to geometry, maybe I'd like it more now.
    I hated 'elements of probability and statistics', but even in high school I didn't like probabilities at all. This could be a problem for applied maths, because it has a lot of statistics and probability.

    I'm very unsure about this... I'd like to know abstract mathematics (which I intend to learn if I keep studying physics anyway), but I don't think I'd like learning it in depth. I'd only like to learn abstract maths so I can apply it to other disciplines, like physics, economics, finance, etc...

    Anyone in a similar situation as me, or does anyone have any advice? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
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