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Engineering Which branch of Engineering involves most theory?

  1. Jun 15, 2011 #1
    I aspire to do Engineering at Uni, however Im not quite sure on which field to go into. I much prefer theory and Mathematics to hands on or practical work, I dont mind moderate doses but I would simply prefer a branch that involves more theory and Mathematics etc

    Im considering Electrical Engineering as it apparently has a good amount of Math content and it seems to be the most interesting branch to me as far as interest is concerned, how much practical or hands on work is involved in this branch?

    Thanks for the advice in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2011 #2


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    If you want to choose an engineering field because of math depth, go ahead and get a degree in Applied Math.
  4. Jun 15, 2011 #3
    Mechanical, Aerospace, Electrical have the most math, but the more math you know and incorporate into your job, the better you'll be at it (goes for any engineering field).
    Electrical easily has the most abstract theory.

    As for practical work, as much as you want!

    It sounds like engineering research would be your thing given this combination.
  5. Jun 15, 2011 #4
    Nuclear has quite a bit of math if you end up specializing in computer codes to calculate neutron thermalization and transport or criticality.
  6. Jun 15, 2011 #5


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    I think choosing an engineering field, because you want "a lot of math" is a bad idea. You need to find out what exactly you like!. Is it just the math? is it only math that is applied to problems in Life like Economics? Engineering? etc... then get a degree in Applied Math.
  7. Jun 15, 2011 #6
    The whole purpose in life for an engineer is to put theory to practice. Falling in love with theory for the sake of diddling around with mathematical notions is interesting, but it isn't really engineering. It is applied mathematics.

    Also, mathematics can happen wherever you find it. For example, whereas electrical engineers usually concern themselves with the steady state side of differential equations, control engineers often have to optimize the settling time of their differential equations (example: phase locked loop stability, oscillator noise, and filter designs). The math might be more interesting, particularly for multi-variant problems, with nested or inter-related control loops, such as one might find in a distillation column with multiple chemical components.

    You may also find that engineering structures such as bridges are interesting, particularly when trying to model how defects are handled.

    I could go on like this. Every branch of Engineering has its interesting math. Your job should be to spot the opportunities where you can do well.
  8. Jun 16, 2011 #7
    I understand Engineering is a practical field; Im not interested in Maths to the extent where I wish to pursue it for its own sake which is why I want to do Engineering. I do find Electronics particularly interesting too.

    Its just that the idea of actually designing etc seems a bit daunting to me... nevertheless this is probably premature as Ive never done the stuff anyways...
  9. Jun 16, 2011 #8
    Everything seems daunting at first, so don't let that deter you. Go by interest, and you'll see that things get less and less scary as you progress along the path of learning more about the subject. It's the lack of knowledge that scares you, but that can be fixed, and you'll see things in a different light then. I don't know if you have a driver's license or not, but to me the idea of driving a car was somewhat daunting for a while, as well, but once you get into the hang of things, you see there's not much to it and laugh at how you were able to find such an easy thing so difficult to imagine. I know it's not really the same and design can't become as routine, but I think the analogy can still be applied.
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