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  1. #1 math education 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    It's pretty obvious that some of you (serpicojr, JaneBennet, river rat) have or are at least working on degrees in mathematics. Would any of you (not limited to the aforementioned three) care to detail your education and what degree you have or are working on? I'm not going into math in college myself but I'd still love to know math as well as someone with a degree in it does and certainly plan to do a lot of self-teaching, so I'm curious as to what the mathematics education path is like...course requirements, etc. Anyone care to share?


    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  3. #2  
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    I got my degree in Pure Mathematics from Queen Mary, University of London. It’s one of the few places that offer Pure Mathematics (not just Mathematics) as a degree course – since I’m far more interested in the pure stuff than in the applied stuff. (I may be interested in the maths used to solve problems in physics since I’m interested in physics as well, but by and large I tend to avoid applied maths – particularly statistics, which is my bugbear.)


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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    So what courses were you required to take over the course of earning your degree?
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
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    I have a bachelor's in math and econ (double major), and I'll be finishing my PhD in math in a year. My research is in algebraic number theory.

    I went to a liberal arts college, and so to earn my bachelor's, I only had to take 9 math courses. This included calculus (up to multivariable), stats, linear algebra, abstract algebra, real analysis, some electives (number theory and topology), and two advanced seminars (ergodic theory and p-adic analysis). I didn't do a thesis; however, I spent two summers doing research, one doing commutative algebra, the other doing ergodic theory

    For my PhD, I need a total of 16 courses, I believe, although I have taken well more than that. I've taken so many courses, it's hard to remember everything I've taken. This included a basic sequence in abstract algebra, real analysis, and complex analysis. (Most other PhD programs also include a geometry/topology sequence.) After my first year, we had written quals, basically testing us on the material from the sequences above. During my third year, we had to take oral quals. This was after we had chosen an advisor and a general area of research, and so orals focused on the material necessary for doing research. After that, it's basically doing research and writing up a dissertation.

    My college education was largely funded by my parents and by grants. My grad school education has been funded by a handful of fellowships and, from here on out, TAships (tuition plus stipend). It's nice to make money while learning math.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    I have my Bsc in Mathematics, with two separate honours degrees (Pure Mathematics and Computation and Applied Mathematics). Should be submitting my Masters dissertation in a few weeks time (work has got in the way) and then I'm trying to convince myself to do my Phd part-time while I try out the high flying world of financial mathematics.

    In sunny RSA we don't have course work for our master's and Phd programmes - it all rests on the thesis and it's defence and anything you need to learn is on your own time.
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    I got my degree in Pure Mathematics from Queen Mary, University of London. It’s one of the few places that offer Pure Mathematics (not just Mathematics) as a degree course – since I’m far more interested in the pure stuff than in the applied stuff. (I may be interested in the maths used to solve problems in physics since I’m interested in physics as well, but by and large I tend to avoid applied maths – particularly statistics, which is my bugbear.)
    what different between pure math and apply math? i thought both math same.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
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    Applied math aims to use math to solve problems motivated by the real world. Pure math solves problems which are of mathematical interest. There is certainly much intersection between the two--many mathematical methods are useful in both realms, and many mathematical problems are interesting from both perspectives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by serpicojr
    Applied math aims to use math to solve problems motivated by the real world. Pure math solves problems which are of mathematical interest. There is certainly much intersection between the two--many mathematical methods are useful in both realms, and many mathematical problems are interesting from both perspectives.
    thanks for the good information u've.. interested with pure math. 1 of my friends take math course in her University but I do not know which one she take.
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  10. #9  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    putting this back up at the top of the forum in the hopes that Guitarist will see it and reply...
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    Chemboy, what you study depends on what you want to do with the degree - if you want to work in a mathematics related field you have to do some numerics courses (don't count on getting into academia, funding is drying up rapidly in the current economic climate )
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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