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Preparing for a Career in the Mathematical Sciences Advice to Students Department of Mathematics and Statistics The College of New Jersey Fall 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing for a Career in the Mathematical Sciences Advice to Students Department of Mathematics and Statistics The College of New Jersey Fall 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing for a Career in the Mathematical Sciences Advice to Students Department of Mathematics and Statistics The College of New Jersey Fall 2012

2 2 Presentation Outline Career Options in Mathematics Industries Where Math is Applicable Most Common Job Title Who Hires Mathematicians Important Skills for Jobs in Industry Alternative Career Paths for Math Majors Preparing for a Math Career Mathematics Organizations and Institutes Presentation References and Other Useful Resources

3 I am a Math Major! Oh, so you want to teach? In our efforts to advise students on career opportunities in mathematics, one of our goals is to dispel the myth that all you can do with a mathematics degree is become a Math Teacher or an Actuary. –These are two great professions. –However, this is not an accurate assessment of the field of mathematics or the career opportunities that the study of mathematics prepares students for. The truth is that there are LOTS of opportunities for mathematics majors in industry, government, and education. 3

4 Million-Dollar Question: What Can I Do With A Math Degree? Education A math teacher teaches elementary, middle, or high school mathematics after obtaining a mathematics education bachelors degree. A math professor teaches at the college level following an advanced degree (Masters degree or PhD required.) Mathematician or Applied Mathematician* A mathematician uses mathematical and computational techniques to solve problems in a specific industry. (PhD usually required.) Statistician* A statistician uses statistical techniques to solve problems in a specific industry. (Masters or PhD usually required) 4

5 Million-Dollar Question: What Can I Do With A Math Degree? Mathematician or Applied Mathematician or Statistician* * These are obvious job titles that people might think of when talking to mathematics or statistics majors. * However, these job titles are not the ones that we can typically recommend to students at the undergraduate level as these job titles are usually reserved for people with PhDs. *We should note that there is no “Math” Industry, as there is for say Biology or Business. *So instead of emphasizing these job titles, students are encouraged to search for math-related jobs within a specific industry (an industry where mathematics would be applicable). 5

6 What Can I Do With A Math Degree? Some Industries Where Math is Applicable Computer Industry: Software Design, Computer Programming Software engineers/computer programmers design, write, test and implement software packages for consumer use and other computer applications (for internal use) that help a company perform a task or set of tasks more efficiently. Cryptography and Security A cryptographer/cryptanalyst analyzes and deciphers secret coding systems and decodes messages for governmental or law enforcement agencies. They also provide privacy for individuals and companies by keeping hackers out of important data systems. (www.weusemath.org) Pharmaceutical Industry, Biomedical Industry, Public Health Biomathematicians and biostatisticians design research studies to analyze data related to human health, animals or plants (e.g. genetic data, disease occurrence data, and medical imaging data. ) Many use mathematical and statistical techniques to assess the efficacy of drug treatments and others analyze data for populations exposed to toxic environmental chemicals to understand their health risks and effects. (www.weusemath.org) 6

7 What Can I Do With A Math Degree? Some Industries Where Math is Applicable Investment and Finance Financial analysts work for banks, insurance companies, securities firms, and other businesses, helping these companies or their clients make investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. (www.business.mtu.edu, Operations Research/Management Science Operations research analysts are involved in strategizing, planning, and forecasting assignments to help companies make better (profitable) decisions and to solve problems. They help companies allocate resources, measure performance, design production facilities and systems, manage the supply chain, set prices, coordinate transportation and distribution, and analyze large databases. (www.weusemath.org, Actuarial Science An actuary deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty in the insurance industry. Actuaries compile and analyze data to estimate the probability and likely cost of an event such as death, sickness, injury, disability, or loss of property. (www.weusemath.org) 7

8 What Can I Do With A Statistics Degree? Industries Where statistics is used Manufacturing Statisticians design experiments and use sampling techniques to improve quality and reliability. Electrical utilities Statisticians use time series analysis to forecast demand for electricity and help decide when new power plants are needed. Market research Statisticians use sampling techniques and evaluate marketing strategies to determine those most likely to purchase products. Higher Education Besides teaching, statisticians in higher education conduct their own research, perform institutional research and consult with researchers from other fields as statistical consultants.

9 Statisticians in U.S. Government  Bureau of Labor Statistics –Estimate rates of inflation and unemployment which affects interest rates.  Census Bureau –Use sample survey techniques to perform and analyze the Federal census which determines the number of U.S. House Representatives.  Internal Revenue Service –Develop decision rules for auditing returns –Affects whether your tax return is audited  Environmental Protection Agency –Design experiments and analyze data to find if materials damage environment  National Security Agency –Code breaking and enemy military analysis  Department of Agriculture –Use designed experiments to determine which factors maximize the yield of a crop.

10 Most Common Job Title: Analyst Analyst Accounting Analyst Budget Analyst Business Analyst Credit Analyst Cost Analyst Crypt-analyst Data Analyst Financial Analyst Forensic Analyst Inventory Analyst Market Research Analyst Operations Research Analyst Rate Analyst Project Analyst Program Analyst Quality Assurance Analyst Risk Management Analyst Securities Analyst 10

11 Organizations, Corporations, and Research Institutions that Hire Mathematicians or Statisticians SIAM: Careers in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics Report The Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) offers some examples of organizations, corporations, and research institutions that hire mathematicians: Aerospace and Transportation Equipment Manufacturers such as The Aerospace Corporation; Boeing; Ford Motor Co.; General Motors; Lockheed Martin; and United Technologies. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers such as DuPont; GlaxoSmithKline; Kodak; Merck & Co., Inc.; Pfizer; and Wyeth. Communications Service Providers such as Clear Channel Communications; Qwest Communications; and Verizon. Computer Service and Software Firms such as Adobe; Google, Inc.; Kuberre Systems; The MathWorks, Inc.; Mentor Graphics; Microsoft Research; Mosek; MSC Software Corporation; Palo Alto Research Center; ThomsonWest; and Yahoo Research. Consulting Firms such as Daniel H. Wagner Associates and McKinsey & Company. Electronics and Computer Manufacturers such as Bell Laboratories, Alcatel-Lucent; Hewlett- Packard; Honeywell; IBM Corporation; Motorola; Philips Research; and SGI. Energy Systems Firms such as Lockheed-Martin Energy Research Corporation and the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC). 11

12 Organizations, Corporations, and Research Institutions that Hire Mathematicians or Statisticians More examples of organizations, corporations, and research institutions that hire mathematicians (SIAM): Engineering Research Organizations such as AT&T Laboratories – Research; Exxon Research and Engineering; NEC Laboratories America, Inc.; Schlumberger-Doll Research; and Telcordia Technologies. Federally Funded Contractors such as the Mitre Corporation and RAND. Financial Service and Investment Management Firms such as Citibank; Moody’s Corporation; Morgan Stanley; and Prudential. International Government Agencies such as the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, DSTO (Australia); French Atomic Energy Commission, CEA/DAM; and National Research Council Canada. Medical Device Companies such as Baxter Healthcare; Boston Scientific; and Medtronic. Nonprofit Organizations such as the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) and SIAM. Producers of Petroleum and Petroleum Products such as Amoco; Exxon Research and Engineering; and Petróleo Brasileiro S/A, Petrobras. Publishers such as Birkhauser and Springer. 12

13 Organizations, Corporations, and Research Institutions that Hire Mathematicians or Statisticians More examples of organizations, corporations, and research institutions that hire mathematicians (SIAM): University-Based Research Organizations such as the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS); the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA); and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). U.S. Government Agencies such as the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA); NASA’s Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering; National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); National Security Agency (DIRSNA); Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division; Supercomputing Research Center; and the U.S. Department of Energy. U.S. Government Labs and Research Offices such as the Air Force Office of Scientific Research; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Sandia National Laboratories. 13

14 Important Skills that Math Majors Can Possess that are Useful in Industry “Mathematical training enables one to identify and analyze intricate relationships among various aspects of complex problems. This capability is marketable if it is documented and communicated in language that is understood outside of the mathematics classroom. Mathematics majors can augment their communications skills if they develop the ability to listen and continually ask deeper questions in order to define the structure of a problem or a process, to identify the most highly leveraged variables, to develop pragmatic solutions, and to carry them through to implementation. One must be willing to continue learning and taking on additional diverse tasks. Mathematical methods and thought processes are universally applicable….” — Ed Moylan, Ford Motor Company, retired (SIAM, Careers in Math Brochure) 14

15 Alternate Paths: Pursing Careers in Law, Business, and Medicine A study of the LSAT and GMAT scores of college students (the entrance exams for law schools and business schools) show that math majors tend to score much higher than the average. National Institute of Education, Duke University Law schools and business schools have taken note of this and welcome math majors into their professions because of their strong analytical and problem solving skills. The same is true for medical schools. Math majors often have higher acceptance rates to medical school than many of the traditional pre-med majors. (www.weusemath.org) 15 Undergraduate MajorLSATGMAT Mathematics12.80%13.30% Philosophy8.70%11.00% Chemistry7.60%7.50% Biology4.00%3.30% English5.60%4.10% History2.90%4.60% Psychology0.90%0.80% Political Science-1.60%0.06% Business Administration-4.50%-0.80%

16 16 Good Advice for Students Preparing for Math Careers: During Your Journey, You Should… Take as many undergraduate mathematics courses as possible (not just the minimum). Consider a minor or double major. Take advantage of summer internships and undergraduate research experiences as early as possible. Attend national and local conferences. Present research projects here at TCNJ and at conferences. Tutor students in mathematics. Do well in courses and make sure that the departmental faculty know who you are. You need faculty members who can provide strong letters of recommendation for you. Plan for your future. Don’t wait until your senior year to begin thinking about what you are going to do after TCNJ. Consider graduate school as an option.

17 17 National Mathematics Organizations and Institutes: Conferences, Summer Programs, & Web Resources American Mathematical Society (AMS) Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Association of Women Mathematicians (AWM) Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) American Statistical Association (ASA) Society of Mathematical Biology (SMB) Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI) Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA) Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)

18 In Search of More Information? Presentation References and Other Useful Resources TCNJ Math Careers Website (remodeling) (come back to the website soon) WeUseMath.org, a project out of Brigham Young University Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Mathematical Association of America (MAA) American Mathematical Society (AMS) 18


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