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What can you do with a Math major? What does a mathematician do?

  1. Mar 30, 2006 #1
    I'm still searching for a major and career that would fit me best. I'm sure this has been asked many times here, sorry if so.

    My whole life I've been gifted in math, it comes easy and I like it. I've started learning about more complicated stuff like Pascal's triangle, Fibinachi(sp?) numbers, Phi/golden ratio.This stuff fascinates me so I was thinking maybe a math major would fit me. I know I want to use math in my career, but I don't know exactly what a math major would lead me to. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2006 #2


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    Honestly, you have so made options I doubt you put them all in one post.

    Here's a few...

    Financial Analyst
  4. Apr 2, 2006 #3
    I forgot to mention that I was looking for careers that don't involve credit card companies or financial firms. I want a job that actually helps out other people and the world rather than make a new videogame or that does something insignificant and doesn't better the world. Could you also list careers that don't necesarily need a math major, but use math a lot? Thanks for the help.
  5. Apr 2, 2006 #4


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    You're naive aren't you.

    Without mathematics, there wouldn't be doctors, engineers, scientists, environmentalists... hell there would be nothing.

    You can study mathematics for its own sake and know that some time in the future it will be used to help people.
  6. Apr 2, 2006 #5
    You could become a math teacher!
  7. Apr 3, 2006 #6
    You can't not be dumb to be a mathematician. Thats why I want to be one. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  8. Apr 3, 2006 #7
  9. Apr 3, 2006 #8
    I think you misspoke there.....

    Also, there are dumb people in every profession.
  10. Apr 3, 2006 #9
    There aren't not any stupid mathematicians. That is definetely and feasibly for sure. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  11. Apr 3, 2006 #10

    matt grime

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    How can you say that when by your own admission you don't know who counts as a mathematician? (I am not supporting or defending any beliefs of anyone in this thread, just pointing out that saying 'I don't know what you can do with a mathematics degree' doesn't put you in a best position to comment on the people who have one). One of the few unifying themes in academic life is the almost intolerable, to some, recalcitrance of anyone to offer such definitive wide reaching assertions without defining your terms. Does anyone with a degree in maths count as a 'mathematician'? If so there are plenty of people with such a qualification who would be described as stupid by many people.

    I think the reference to you misspeaking is that twice now you've used a double negative: aren't not; can't not.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  12. Apr 3, 2006 #11


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    - x - = +
    Does he mean "you have to be dumb to be...errr..." and "there are stupid mathematicians" or I'm just interpret it wrong way?:confused:
  13. Apr 3, 2006 #12
    I am sorry, I was in a goofy mood. I was just kidding in both of those posts. I think I should get used to using the smily faces so that people can tell when I am kidding.
  14. Apr 3, 2006 #13
    You want to be a mathemetician because you have to be dumb to be one? I know you're being funny, but still. You're basically admitting you're dumb. :p

    I would start using smileys a bit more, because it seems like you simply messed up your double negatives there.
  15. Apr 3, 2006 #14
    As you can see, I have edited the posts with smileys.
  16. Apr 4, 2006 #15
    To my knowledge it depends on your skills as a mathematician.
    e.g. Are you an applied math major or pure math major? That definitely decides whether you're going to be getting a real-world (application) based job or something a little less applied. (So to speak)

    Also, I have seen math majors getting jobs as computer programmers, administrators and such. Math degrees can get you a lot of jobs but it just depends on your specialization I guess.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2006
  17. Apr 4, 2006 #16
    Math major = Math teacher
    Applied Math = Endless possibilities
  18. Apr 5, 2006 #17
    Well, pure math majors do end up as computer programmers in some cases-- you're not just limited to getting a job as a math teacher...
  19. Apr 5, 2006 #18

    matt grime

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    Utter, utter nonsense.
  20. Apr 5, 2006 #19

    Every math professor I have ever had has suggested math majors focus on applied math unless they want to be a math teacher. Its like being a English Major when you want to be a Journalist.
  21. Apr 5, 2006 #20
    at the undergrad level I was told the oppurtunities are similar for pure math and applied math majors. At my school the applied math students take numerical methods and math models while the pure math students take topology and abstract algebra, and that is basically the only differences in course work, how can two courses make that much of a difference in oppurtunities after graduation?
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