What Can You Gain From A Mathematics Degree?

Mathematical skills, of course, why ask ?

Actually, according to this webpage of the Math Department, University of Warwick, you can gain not only math skills, but also a lot of other essential  skills too:

Mathematical Skills. As a mathematics student you will study each of the major subject areas of modern mathematics: algebra, analysis, geometry, statistics, and applied mathematics. In the course of this study you will learn:

  1. The language of mathematics and the rules of logic.
  2. How to state a mathematical idea precisely.
  3. How to prove or disprove a mathematical conjecture.
  4. How to extract meaning from mathematics on the written page.
  5. How to use mathematics to describe the physical world.

Analytical Skills. Having done a Mathematics Degree, you will never again be able to tolerate sloppy reasoning. Mathematics will enhance your ability to:

  1. Think clearly.
  2. Pay attention to detail.
  3. Manipulate precise and intricate ideas.
  4. Follow complex reasoning.
  5. Construct logical arguments and expose illogical ones.

Problem Solving Skills. You will be given countless mathematical problems to solve over the course of your degree. Experience with these will teach you to:

  1. Formulate a problem in precise terms, identifying the key issues.
  2. Present a solution clearly, making your assumptions explicit.
  3. Gain insight into a difficult problem by looking at special cases or sub-problems.
  4. Be flexible, and approach the same problem from different points of view.
  5. Tackle a problem with confidence, even when the solution is not obvious.
  6. Seek help when you need it.

Investigative Skills. During your studies you will sometimes find yourself trying to understand mathematics that seems too hard, and trying to solve problems that at first seem impossible. You may also be asked to do essays and projects which involve you privately investigating an area of mathematics you know nothing about. All this will turn you into an amateur sleuth, on the trail of information and inspiration. You should find yourself:

  1. Looking up lecture notes, text books and reference books.
  2. Scouring the library.
  3. Searching databases for references.
  4. Extracting information from every mathematician you meet (other undergraduates, postgraduates, tutors and lecturers).
  5. Thinking!

Communication Skills. A Mathematics Degree will develop your capacity to assimilate and communicate highly technical information. During lectures you will be required to organise and record a mass of mathematical detail, both spoken and written. Homework exercises, and any essays and projects you do, will call for clear mathematical exposition. During supervisions you will find yourself exchanging mathematical ideas with your supervisor and fellow students. You may well find yourself discussing mathematics in conversation with your fellow students and your lecturers. In your later years you may be given the opportunity to teach other undergraduates. Through these experiences you will have the opportunity to learn how to:

  1. Listen effectively.
  2. Write mathematics well.
  3. Write essays and reports.
  4. Give a mathematical presentation to a group.

IT Skills. IT stands for Information Technology, which has come to mean `anything to do with computers’. During your degree you will have access to computing facilities. You will have the opportunity to:

  1. Use e-mail and access the internet.
  2. Learn a programming language.
  3. Solve problems using mathematical software.
  4. Learn word-processing, of both text and mathematics.

Good Working Habits. To be a successful mathematics student you will have to:

  1. Be thorough and painstaking in your work.
  2. Organise your time and meet deadlines.
  3. Work under pressure, especially near exam time.
  4. Work independently, without constant support from teachers.
  5. Work co-operatively with others to solve common problems.

Useful Personality Traits. One mathematics professor used to tell each incoming first year class that doing a Maths Degree would change them for life. Battling successfully with ideas that are hard to understand and problems that are hard to solve fosters:

  1. Determination
  2. Perseverance
  3. Creativity
  4. Self-confidence, and
  5. Intellectual rigour.
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6 comments to What Can You Gain From A Mathematics Degree?

  • Phi Ha MonsterID Icon Phi Ha

    Kính thưa Giáo sư Zung

    Em là một sinh viên Việt Nam đang theo học Master tại Berlin Mathematical School. Em được biết trang web của Giáo sư qua blog của anh Đôc Đức Hạnh (Viện toán học). Trên trang web này em tìm thấy nhiều điều bổ ích và mở mang vốn hiểu biết của em.

    Em rất muốn đăng lạ một vài bài – ví dụ như bài này trên blog cá nhân của em để tiện cho em và một số bạn bè yêu toán theo dõi.

    Kính mong Giáo sư chp phép.

    Em xin chân thành cảm ơn.

    Phi Hà.

  • admin MonsterID Icon admin

    Hà có thể đăng lại được. (Tất nhiên cần chú ý một số điều khi đăng lại như: hỏi tác giả trước khi đăng, có trích nguồn, và không “xuyên tạc” nội dung).

  • namdung MonsterID Icon namdung

    Bài này hay quá. Bản thân tôi cũng hay nói về những điều này, nhưng không thể một cách hệ thống như vậy được. Đúng là có học cũng có khác. Tôi sẽ dịch bài này ra tiếng Việt để truyền bá cho các em học sinh, sinh viên. Đúng là nhiều em chưa hiểu hết được ý nghĩa của việc học toán thật. Cảm ơn Zũng.

  • admin MonsterID Icon admin

    Anh Nam Dũng lúc nào dịch bài này thì gửi luôn cho em nhé, thanks. Em đang muốn có bản tiếng Việt, nhưng chưa kịp dịch và hệ thống lại.

  • Trần Nam Dũng MonsterID Icon Trần Nam Dũng

    Gửi cho Dũng theo địa chỉ nào đây. Anh đã nhờ cậu bạn dịch xong rồi. Đọc thấy thấm thía ghê. Đang có mấy việc muốn nhờ Tiến Zũng đây. Hè này có plan về không đấy. Hôm trước gặp anh Trung ở HCM, nhắc lại cái thời năm 92 anh em mình nấu mì ở đồi gió hú. Vui thật.

  • an bo MonsterID Icon an bo

    Bài này toàn nói về các điểm tích cực. Còn các điểm tiêu cực của việc học toán, hoặc nói xa hơn là dân làm toàn thi sao??? Anh có bài nào nói về điều này không?

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