If you have a passion for numbers and problem-solving, consider majoring in applied mathematics. Unlike “pure” mathematics, where math is a theoretical pursuit, the field of applied mathematics uses math to solve real-world problems. These problems can be as simple as allocating an investment and calculating returns, or as dramatic as using mathematical algorithms to crack and decrypt intelligence codes. This degree provides students with excellent quantitative and analytical skills, and a math degree is the perfect stepping stone for a countless number of careers.
The Student Experience
The Applied Mathematics BS is designed to encourage cross-major exploration: applied mathematics majors can explore other science and engineering fields through electives in these subjects. Take advantage of the opportunity to network with fellow students and career professionals by joining the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, or SIAM, an international association for applied mathematicians. Students also have the chance to directly apply their math and science skills at the annual international COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM): teams of three students are given four days to use mathematical modeling to solve a real-world problem, and the winners receive a prize. This intense but fun experience is an excellent addition to your resume. You can further expand your skills by enrolling in an applied mathematics research course.
Applied mathematicians are employed in a number of areas, such as quantitative finance, material science, computer science, epidemiology, genetics, city planning, and climate science; many other fields will also be open to you upon completion of this degree. Consider a career as a climatologist, financial or business analyst, programmer, or actuary (a risk analyst for an insurance company). With further education, research or university teaching positions are also possible. Be it in industry, technology, business, or education, math can take you anywhere.