“Do” is the most appropriate verb to use with Mathematics and there is no legitimate substitute word for it. One can never excel at Mathematics by reading it or looking at it. Working with a pencil and paper is the way to go. The best way to do Mathematics and to develop one’s mathematical intuition is to initiate and solve problems. It is often harder to make up a good problem than to solve it. Every problem solver is a mathematician, but the converse is not necessarily true. That is: not every mathematician is a problem solver.
Furthermore, the art of asking questions, especially the “what if” questions, is indispensable in mathematics, and with practice, one begins to see that solutions are usually embedded in the problems themselves. Georg Cantor (1845-1918) once said: “The art of asking the right questions in mathematics is more important than the art of solving them.”
Whether representing a university or a business, recruiters look for individuals who take leaps of faith, people who have guts, and people who reason well. One way for them to assess this is to check your mathematical background. They would want to know what mathematics courses you have taken and how well you did. Furthermore, because Mathematics is the foundation of many disciplines, it gives you the flexibility to switch easily between careers.
Application and Theory
There are over sixty areas (or branches) of mathematics that can be partitioned into pure and applied mathematics. Examples of these branches are Topology, Probability, Quantum Theory, Analysis, Abstract Algebra, and Operation Research. Theorists (or as we call them, purists) do mathematics for aesthetic reasons. They appreciate its beauty and richness of ideas. To them, mathematics is delicate and should be treated with care. It is delightful and a work of art. Applied mathematicians, on the other hand, do mathematics for its utility. They see it as the key that opens the lock of the physical universe. Even descriptive sciences such as economics, genetics, psychology, and biology employ elaborate mathematical techniques. It is only fairly recently that mathematicians have begun to realize that theory and application are inseparable entities, and the world of mathematics is increasingly converging toward a natural embodiment of both views.
Mathematics and Scientific Thought
Mathematics is the backbone of all scientific study, and it is the mother of all sciences. This said, both mathematics and science are intimately related because mathematics confirms scientific research and science puts mathematics to the test. Without mathematics, there would be neither science nor technology, nor understanding beyond simple observation of the physical world. Superstition would continue to dominate the thinking process as it did for centuries. Physics, Astronomy, Natural Sciences, Chemistry, Agriculture, Biology, and Medicine would not have developed. Computers and telecommunications that are revolutionizing the contemporary era would not exist without the power of mathematics. And with the advance of computing, many areas have been opened up to mathematical treatment-in finance, biology, weather simulation, medical diagnosis, and image processing.
Mathematics as a Global Language
In its own right, mathematics is a language, and more important, it is a universal language. Anyone who does mathematics, speaks it, writes it, and communicates with it nearly the same way. Mathematicians often communicate well, irrespective of cultural differences, arbitrary political maps, environmental upbringing, or other language barriers. They do not make assumptions, and only generalize with absolute caution. Mathematics is highly objective, and hence unbiased discipline. It does not tolerate jargon or nonsense. It is direct, succinct, clear, and right to the point.
Some Professions that Require Mathematics
Actuary, Air Pollution Operations Specialist, Applied Science Programmer, Appraiser, Architect, Auditor, Banking, Budget Analyst, Casualty Rater, Cartographer, Computer Scientist, Credit Counselor, Demographer, Econometrist, Engineering Analyst, Estimator, Finance Director, Financial Analyst, Information Scientist, Inventory Manager, Investment Manager, Investment Analyst, Mathematician, Oceanography, Operations Research Analyst, Physical Scientist, Programmer, Psychometrist, Quality Assurance Analyst, Software Engineer, Statistician, Stock Broker, Systems Analyst, Teacher/Professor, Technical Writer, Technical Sales Representative. Noureddine El Alam