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March 25th, 2010, 06:30 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Mar 2010 Posts: 1 Thanks: 0  Learning Pure math as a doctor
I am pursuing a medical career neurologist However, do you think it is possible for me to selflearn puremathematics, and make significant contributions and publications, even without bieng a full time mathematician. 
March 25th, 2010, 07:19 PM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  Re: Learning Pure math as a doctor
Fermat held a fulltime career (as a lawyer) while being one of the mathematical greats. It's possible, but it does take a time commitment.

April 3rd, 2010, 01:56 PM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Oct 2007 From: Chicago Posts: 1,701 Thanks: 3  Re: Learning Pure math as a doctor
It's definitely possible to have a good enough understanding to keep up with contemporary mathematics (at least, in the small area you'll find most interesting.) Being able to contribute will require a much greater time commitment, and will be rather difficult without at least some formal training. The formal training is more about learning to think "like a mathematician" if you can learn to do that sufficiently well on your own, then it's certainly possible. Of course, I'll have to repeat that it will take a good deal of commitment to be able to contribute. 

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