July 27th, 2016, 01:31 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Jul 2016 From: New York City Posts: 4 Thanks: 0  I love math, however I am not sure what direction to take
I am now taking an algebra ii course as a college sophomore and I have realized that I have a real passion for math. Math is something used in science, engineering, building, finance, etc and it goes back thousands of years. It seems to be much more elegant, logical and universal than computer science which until now I had planned on pursuing. I dream of tutoring high school and college students and someday teaching in college. So many students drop of school because of math, I feel that a teacher who who understands the beauty of math may make a difference in many young lives. The professor I have now, a wonderful woman from China, has really turned me on to it. I'm now at City College in New York City which has a good math department. I wonder if I should plan on going to Colombia U, right next store, for a masters and doctorate. I wonder if that is realistic. I also wonder how realistic a career in math is altogether. Some people ask me "What are you really going to do with a math degree?" So is this a realistic plan? Thank you. Last edited by sarahwarschun; July 27th, 2016 at 01:34 PM. 
July 27th, 2016, 05:02 PM  #2 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 725 Thanks: 271 Math Focus: Yet to find out. 
When people ask me "What are you going to do with a math degree?", i tell them, "I don't care, i just like math". But yes, it's a realistic plan. Do what you want, what you enjoy, and success will chase you down, regardless of whether or not you desire it. And welcome to the forum! 
July 27th, 2016, 06:03 PM  #3  
Senior Member Joined: Dec 2012 From: Hong Kong Posts: 763 Thanks: 278 Math Focus: Linear algebra, linear statistical models  Quote:
Have you taken other advanced maths courses before? How do you find stuff like analysis and linear algebra? Quote:
(I would suggest, however, that you continue to major in CS and do a second major in mathematics, or the other way around. Flexibility in career choice is very important and much of CS can be applied in mathematics and vice versa anyway. If you look up the curricula of the 'numerical analysis' course in mathematics and 'scientific computing' course in CS, you'll find that they're almost the same ) Quote:
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July 27th, 2016, 06:43 PM  #4 
Math Team Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 6,344 Thanks: 2083 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra 
The study of academic subjects is seen in Europe and, I believe, the US as a sign that you can learn to a high level and thus opens doors t (almost) any career that you fancy. Having said that, if you wish to teach, especially in schools, investigate the requirements. Usually in Europe and the US a teaching qualification is required. This doesn't in any way prohibit you studying a masters or PHD but such courses may delay your entry into teaching because you'll need to do the teaching qualification afterwards. 
July 28th, 2016, 11:12 AM  #5 
Newbie Joined: Jul 2016 From: New York City Posts: 4 Thanks: 0 
I am not sure that I can see myself standing in front of a high school class. Since high schools are compulsory, they seem to have the atmosphere of minimum security prisons or juvenile detention centers, which is basically what they are for about 80% of the students. I am thinking in terms of either tutoring privately or teaching on a college level. I noticed that the Federal government in the Washington DC area seems to be a major employer of mathematicians. I wonder what that is exactly? Breaking codes? http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes152021.htm#top One concern I have is that Colombia U has a highly selective admissions policy and I was not accepted as an undergraduate. I am wondering if it is more open when one is applying as a post graduate student, coming with a BS in pure math and a high GPA from a middle tier school like City College. Last edited by sarahwarschun; July 28th, 2016 at 11:15 AM. 
July 28th, 2016, 11:12 PM  #6  
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 725 Thanks: 271 Math Focus: Yet to find out.  Quote:
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July 29th, 2016, 01:20 AM  #7 
Newbie Joined: Jul 2016 From: New York City Posts: 4 Thanks: 0 
Yes, exactly. Are a greater percentage of applicants accepted to post graduate programs in comparison to freshmen accepted from high school.

July 29th, 2016, 01:31 AM  #8 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 725 Thanks: 271 Math Focus: Yet to find out. 
So you want to finish your current major, then apply for postgraduate studies at Columbia uni? And you're wondering if you'll have a higher chance of being accepted? I think you answered your own question. Or i'm just confused.

July 29th, 2016, 02:31 AM  #9  
Senior Member Joined: Dec 2012 From: Hong Kong Posts: 763 Thanks: 278 Math Focus: Linear algebra, linear statistical models  Quote:
 
July 29th, 2016, 04:38 AM  #10 
Newbie Joined: Jul 2016 From: New York City Posts: 4 Thanks: 0 
Thank you, however the Columbia website says: "The PhD program in mathematics has an enrollment of approximately 60 students. Typically, 1012 students enter each year. While students come from all over the world, they form an intellectually cohesive and socially supportive group." So a dozen are ACCEPTED however do 20 apply, or a thousand? I guess I still have a few years to go to worry about postgraduate degrees. It is interesting that they require a reading knowledge of one language, either French, German, or Russian. I do have some German, but that will need a lot of improvement. Are mathematicians usually bilingual? I had the impression that most publications today are in English. 

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