What Is Mathematics?

Most of us have a sense of what mathematics is because we all went to school and either loved math or hated it!  But, to explain what mathematics looks at is really hard to do because of how many parts of the field.  Most experts say that you can divide math into two main parts:  theoretical mathematics and applied mathematics.  Most of the subjects that you studied in grade and high school are theoretical math like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus.  There are many more theoretical subjects, but let’s keep it as simple as possible.  You may have already studied some applied math but many of you haven’t.  They are things like probability and statistics, numerical analysis, computer algebra, and all the math used in the physical sciences, like applications to physics, to applied mechanics, and to fluid mechanics.

That’s why, if you’re going to go into the physical sciences, you’re often told that you need to know math first.  Maybe your head is spinning right now because none of this makes sense.  Well, if it doesn’t make sense because you really don’t know much about math, and you’re sort of intrigued by this abstract stuff, then look into this field.  Some positions that are held by people in the field are things like Actuarial Analyst, Data Analyst, Investment Analyst, Software Engineer, High School Teacher, College Professor, and Statistician.

What Degrees Relate to Careers in Mathematics?