Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What country has the most mathematicians?

  1. Oct 30, 2014 #1
    What country has the most mathematicians?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2014 #2

    OldEngr63

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    With no solid facts to work from, I would bet on Russia. They emphasize mathematics and seem to be very good at it.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2014 #3
    I see. Thank you. I first thought it's Germany.
     
  5. Oct 30, 2014 #4

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Most likely China. It's big.
     
  6. Oct 30, 2014 #5
    But how come many great mathematicians aren't Asians? Great mathematicians like Isaac Newton, Gauss, they're all from Europe and Greek.
     
  7. Oct 30, 2014 #6

    OldEngr63

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think that there is no doubt that China is striving in this direction, but in my opinion, the quality is not there. There is a reason why "Made in China" now means what "Made in Japan" meant in 1945.
     
  8. Oct 30, 2014 #7

    WWGD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Math 10: You may want to define things more clearly what you mean by a mathematician. Do you mean number of people living in the country who have a PHD in Mathematics? Do you refer to the ones that have a degree and are working in a Mathematics-related area, etc.?

    EDIT: If you are considering the rate of mathematicians ( by most "reasonable" definitions of the term) , you should also consider Japan.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  9. Oct 30, 2014 #8

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Greece is a part of Europe.

    "Number of great mathematicians in the past" and "number of mathematicians today" are completely different things. And European mathematicians had it easier to get into European history books.

    If you want to look for absolute numbers, total population is a good place to start. China has many mathematicians, the US has a large number as well. All other countries have a significantly smaller population or probably a lower mathematician fraction (List of countries by population).
    I can rule out Germany and Russia here simply because they just have 1/4 and 1/2 the population of the US - and not twice or four times the rate of mathematicians.
     
  10. Oct 30, 2014 #9

    StatGuy2000

    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    To the OP:

    When you are asking about which country has the most mathematicians, what exactly are you asking? Are you asking which country has the most number of people currently working as mathematicians? Which country has the most number of people with PhDs in mathematics, or the most number of current PhD students specializing in mathematics? Which country that has the most number of current undergraduate students specializing in mathematics?

    Also, are you looking at absolute numbers, or per capita numbers (i.e. number of mathematicians in proportion to the overall population)? The question is more vague than what is presented, and the answers could vary quite significantly.
     
  11. Oct 30, 2014 #10

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    My initial thought is that it's the one with the most people. Along with other considerations that have been mentioned, that pretty much narrows it down to China. If you mean the most per capita, then I have no clue.
     
  12. Oct 31, 2014 #11

    f95toli

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If the OP refers to the number of people working as mathematicians my bet would be the USA. China is a bigger country but that is not the only factor, the number of people who go the university, get a PhD and THEN find a job is more important and I don't think there are nearly as many opportunities for this in China as in the USA(yet),.
     
  13. Oct 31, 2014 #12
    Vietnam has one
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngô_Bảo_Châu
    But seriously I don't know anything about him. I don't think he is any better than many people here.
    When I could get any prize, I would hire 1000 people to spread news about me. I then should become more famous.
     
  14. Oct 31, 2014 #13
    So Japan is really advanced in math?
     
  15. Oct 31, 2014 #14
    I don't know about Japanese mathematicians. But Japanese people's sense of community works the way to kill individual creativity, so it is not a good place for mathematics to grow to the highest level. It's like a formal system with strict rules to control free tokens.
    I only wish to visit Japan not to live there. :)
     
  16. Oct 31, 2014 #15
    Then where can I get Chinese college math textbooks? What bookstore has them? I have lived in China for more than 8 years when I was young. I know how to speak Chinese fluently.
     
  17. Oct 31, 2014 #16

    WWGD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Actually, Japan has (and has had a history of ) a lot of really good Mathematicians: Kodaira, Ito , etc.
     
  18. Oct 31, 2014 #17
    Where can I get Japanese advanced math textbooks? Should I learn Japanese? If necessary, I can think about going to Japan.
     
  19. Oct 31, 2014 #18

    WWGD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Why don't you do an online search on Graduate Text in Mathematics by Japanese authors ? These texts are likely translated into English.
     
  20. Oct 31, 2014 #19
    Maybe I should do that. And thanks to everyone who answered this question.
     
  21. Oct 31, 2014 #20

    NTW

    User Avatar

    Yes, of course, but the greek 'mathematical world' extended beyond Europe. The greatest mathematical center of ancient times was Alexandria.
    Euclid, Eratosthenes, Heron, Menelaus, Pappus, Diophantus... All these names, and more, are connected with Alexandria.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: What country has the most mathematicians?
Loading...