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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I entered college as a math major and finished as a math/physics double. I then went on to grad school for additional training physics, materials science, and electrical engineering.

    I am not personally aware of any schools where being a math major double majoring as an engineer as well is possible. It sure wasnt the places I went to school.

    If you want to stay in math jobwise, or stick to math/computing stuff in related applied areas, I would say focus on either operations research, statistics, or maybe partial differential equations. Statistics is very broadly applicable.

    I will keep my own personal experiences to this topic to myself, but let me just say that it was common talk among my grad school physics peers that while a physics person *should* be extremely employable in more or less any kind of tech/engineering position the practical reality when dealing with hiring managers and companies and such was that, basically, people 1) didnt know what you were talking about, 2) didnt care what you were talking about, 3) thought you didnt have enough "relevant experience", or 4) didnt know what a physicist is or does and just stuck with the tried and true engineering people. Wit that said, if you want to work at a dedicated research lab, which would probbaly be largely full of PhD physicists and maybe chemists and related things, that is open, but there aren't THAT many research labs out there.

    If you like math because it helps you udnerstand technology/engineering, than the practical thing to do is to go straight into tech/engineering major. If yyou want to do that eventually but want more math first major in math and then jump at the grad school level. If you like computers and programming, consider studying both.

    Math is definitely effortful, there is no way around that. What instructors told us is that if you were smart enough to do well with math in high school then you "had enough" to be a math major. But it would take plenty of work and studying. Some people find a level fo math where they "top out" and just cant really comprehend beyond that level. For me analysis [real, intermediate: the formal proving of calculus] is about where I topped out. Looking back now I could do it, but at the time with all that was going on it was too much and I stuck with more science/applied math [complex analysis, PDE's, fourier stuff]. I learned many years later that many math majors struggle with analysis, and in many schools they changed what and how they teach that subject. Maybe if I had started college 5-8 years later???

    I worked in tech for a number of years, and interfaced with people from various science/tech/engineering backgrounds. Both in work and in school I was frequently surprised by how not-deep many engineers and scientists understanding of math was/is. I think working in engineering/since is much more about wanting to "think" and "solve puzzles" than it is about doing/using/understanding math. I decided that "puzzles" and "thinking" weren't especially my thing, there wasnt enough math, the math wasn't "cool" enough, and that I preferred working with "nicer" more warm and friendly people, so I left tech behind. I'm not sure I'd ever be willing to go back.

    There is much math that I know of, and know some details of, and wish I knew more about. Perhaps in another lifetime???

    If you have other questions feel free to ask.
    Oh, I greatly appreciate your reply but it was dedicated to the OP. I did (Applied)Math/Chemistry and minored in physics. I'm currently doing M.S. in Comp Sci because the former were not as lucrative and I enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor.

    Physicists should be employable; I agree. It really makes sense IF it were applied in nature; however, I doubt many companies could utilize someones knowledge of quantum mechanics to do chip design (and even if they could, they would alt to a PhD). I would think a Physics/Math degree in conjunction with Computer Science/Engineering sorts (esp EE) would be highly lucrative.

    But yeah I was adressing the OP

  2. #12
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elocute View Post
    Oh, I greatly appreciate your reply but it was dedicated to the OP. I did (Applied)Math/Chemistry and minored in physics. I'm currently doing M.S. in Comp Sci because the former were not as lucrative and I enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor.

    Physicists should be employable; I agree. It really makes sense IF it were applied in nature; however, I doubt many companies could utilize someones knowledge of quantum mechanics to do chip design (and even if they could, they would alt to a PhD). I would think a Physics/Math degree in conjunction with Computer Science/Engineering sorts (esp EE) would be highly lucrative.

    But yeah I was adressing the OP
    I was trying to address the OP as well, but quoted you because I wanted to second what you were saying.

    I think a lot of employers want to see a "demonstrated ability to..." and engineers can point to their school projects whereas many physics people can often only really say 1) look I've done research! and/or 2) I havent actually done what you are talking about, but I am very trainable! Neither shows "a demonstrated ability.." to do what the employer wants to fill the job for.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cryonium View Post
    Anybody majoring in mathematics? I wanted to major in the field and i wanted to know if the workload is massive? if the problem solving is highly difficult? and what types of courses you took? I know I ask alot of questions please answer.
    Math was one of my majors in undergraduate, the other was engineering (minor in Physics). The classes were enjoyable, and frankly among my easiest classes. I thought of it almost like a break from engineering to play in the world of complete understanding.

    Training in Math hones abstract logical abilities to a fine point, even at the undergraduate level. I found this skills set to be immensely useful in engineering. Almost every Math major I knew was a double major of some sort. Math/CS, Math/Physics, Math/Engineering, Math/Education, and even one Math/Music. Actually, I cannot think of one person who was solely a Math major.

    If you enjoy it, I think studying it will be rewarding itself.

    If you're doing it for the money, don't major in Math. Or if you do, go into finance. They'll pay you boatloads of money to loose other people's money .

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #14
    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    I'm majoring in mathematics. I find the workload quite light, and it's easy when they're not asking you to actually prove something.

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself afterwards, but I'm thinking statistics might be the way to go.

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