Computational and Applied Mathematics Degree

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What is Computational and Applied Mathematics?

Computational and applied mathematics is a field of study focused on utilizing mathematical methods to derive meaning.  Computational mathematics emphasizes numerical methods, symbolic computation, algorithms, and research in critical areas where computing plays a central role.

A condensed list of disciplines within Computational Mathematics include: algorithmic game theory, information theory, statistics, topology, computational geometry, number theory, computational group theory, computational algebraic geometry, computational science, numerical linear algebra, partial differential equations, stochastic methods, discrete mathematics, and cryptography.

Applied mathematics, on the other hand, emphasizes the use of math used heavily in business, engineering, science, industry, and computer science. Due to the practical nature of applied mathematics, professionals blend math and specialized knowledge to tease out specific solutions.   As an example, Applied Mathematics can be used to benefit decisions made within life insurance, investment, pension, healthcare, long-term care, property insurance, liability insurance, casualty insurance, and research.

Earning a College Degree in Computational & Applied Math

By earning a college degree in Computational & Applied Mathematics, there will by a variety of vocational options to consider after graduation.   The most common type of college degree in Computational and Applied Mathematics is a bachelor's degree which provides the larges range of college and university options.

The next most popular degree for Computational & Applied Mathematics students is the master’s degree.  A master’s degree program can be taken on-site or online with most accredited higher education institutions and will often take as additional two years’ time beyond a bachelor’s degree.

What Will I Learn in Applied Mathematics?

Students that elect to integrate applied mathematics and computational mathematical methods can be a great option given the fact the institutional demand for the design and execution of algorithms into today’s technology.

While each applied math degree program vary by program, a general set of academic expectations can be obtained.  Undergraduate students can expect to understand and apply the following concepts at the completion of the program.

  1. Ability to distinguish differences between theorems, axioms, arguments, and definitions.
  2. Identify problems and construct proofs of theorems at the level studied in the course.
  3. Learn statistical elements such as point and interval estimates
  4. Interpret and solve a variety of regression models
  5. Leverage relevant statistical modeling software
  6. Utilize fundamental matrix algebra concepts
  7. Learn the concepts such as matrix algebra, probability, and distribution
  8. Apply numerical computation functions appropriately
  9. Comprehend the basic concepts, terms, and notation of logic and reasoning

Educational Requirements for Applied Mathematicians

In terms of educational requirements, math majors will need to take core courses and general education classes.  A quick summation of the general courses you can expect to take your first two years in college include both foundational and general classes.  Combining both allow students the ability to blend holistic abstract thinking with linear analysis.

Employment in Applied Mathematics

Students that invest time to earn a college degree in applied and computational math will have a unique set of skills.  Problem solving and deep analysis of math can be a marketable skill to a variety of industries and employers.  In addition to a variety of companies to consider, students may also elect to specialize while in school.

Taking targeted classes in finance can result in a career as a financial analyst, broker, financial advisor, or underwriter.  Meanwhile, a focus on insurance and risk management can lead a math major to a career as an actuary, statistician, or budget analysts.  Similarly, extra computer programming classes can lead students to careers in database management, cryptography, or military counterintelligence.

Computational Math Jobs

Government databased such as ONet and BLS aggregate national employment data.  This data helps to inform employers and students with trends and insights about various sectors.  Math jobs projected by ONet reveal at rapid growth of 15%.  The median salary of a mathematician is currently, $103,010 a year.

Meanwhile, similar careers in math appear to be trending well above the national average of 6% a year.  More specifically, employment outlook for actuarial scientists is forecast to jump by 18% while financial advisors should see a remarkable 30% job increase in the next decade.  These two jobs alone should create some 29,000 new jobs in America during this time period.

Additional Resources in Computational Math

For additional information about this career field, consider visiting the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) or the American Mathematical Society (AMS).   Both national associations provide great resources for current and future mathematicians as well as events, membership benefits, and vocational insights.

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Career Summary: Computational applied mathematics Major




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