is a science that deals with the logic of quantity, shape andarrangement. aims at explaining some of the patterns,dependence, independence and variation between variables. To thelayperson, mathematics is the tool used to solve some of the day today problems prevalent in their places of work, school and at home.The history of mathematics is not clear but some of the activitiesfrom the archives reveal the use of mathematics in the lives of manfor a long time now. For example, the Egyptian pyramids reveal theuse of complex mathematical equations to come up with specificdimensions of stable pyramids. The architectural ingenuity of theRoman and Greek Empires also point towards the use of complexmathematical equations to develop solutions to complex engineeringproblems (Struik 78). This paper is an analysis of mathematics- itscareer prospects, benefits of studying mathematics and requirementsfor a mathematics major at MSU.
My background to a major in mathematics dates back to the day Ijoined this university. I did not know what I wanted to do but all Iwanted was something to do with mathematics. I chose to join theschool of natural sciences because it had mathematics courses withinits curriculum. Since the education system in this country is notsimilar with that of my home country, I did not know whether I metthe requirements for a career in mathematics in the United States. Isought advice from the career office. The staff members advised me tochoose a major in mathematics if I wanted a career in the said field.That is how I ended up in this major.
Theprimary reason I chose mathematics is the interest I have had for thesubject ever since I was a little Kid. I remember in the first grade,I learned how to count before I could even write. Growing up, I havealways excelled in mathematics. I never had to use half as muchenergy I used in other subjects to excel in mathematics. Thecomparatively amazing results in the subject drove met to like it.The interest has persisted to college. I also chose this majorbecause of the good pay that mathematics graduates are exposed to.Besides interest, there is the need to have a career that will ensureone will not live on food stamps for eternity. As much as peopleought to choose a career they have interest, the remuneration is alsoa crucial factor to consider.
Themathematics major to me means learning complex formulas that we donot experience in our everyday lives. Some of the things that I neverknew had a mathematical formula can be calculated in this major. Forinstance, I did not know that one could calculate the correlationbetween two sets of completely unrelated variables. I always thoughtthat for a correlation to exist, the two sets of data must beconnected in one way or another. The mathematics major has been adoor to a world of exciting and complex mathematical formulae. Foronce in my life, I have experienced a challenge in mathematics. Iused to think that mathematics was my golden goose, but this majorhas taught me that in order to succeed in mathematics, hard work isinevitable.
Accordingto Lewis (6), mathematics is the key to being a liberally educatedperson. Since its inception by the Sumerians about 5000 years ago,mathematics has been a tool for explaining numerous world phenomenasuch as tides, earthquakes, and light. The arithmetic part ofmathematics is key to human survival. People who do not haveknowledge in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, mayfind it hard to live in the modern world because these concepts applyeverywhere. The most common misconception about mathematics is thatit comprises of memorizing formulas and cranking up computations. is about processes not formulas and answers. The subjectinvolves applying concepts learned somewhere else to solve problems.
Althoughthe bulk of mathematics involves computations, writing is also acrucial part of mathematics. At the undergraduate level, writing isused in answering questions during assessments, presenting solutionsto assignments, and making short reference notes during lectures(Quealy 20). At this level of study, writing in mathematics requiresone to adhere to formats appropriating to academic writing. At thepostgraduate level, a research proposal requires adequate skills inacademic writing. A scholar should be conversant with academicreferencing styles, in-text citations and paper formats. At thepostgraduate level, writing skills play a major role in determiningthe final grade of a mathematics project proposal. Although theresults of the project will involve many calculations, the writingrequirements of the postgraduate level are still expected at thediscussion section. Tutors will be looking for such aspects ofwriting as topic sentences, referencing and paragraph structure. Atthe employment stage, writing in mathematics is important indesigning contracts and preparing presentations.
Successin a mathematics could be a little different from that of othermajors such as biology, sociology and literature. Unlike othermajors, mathematics requires constant practice (Zeldin and Frank 45).It is therefore recommended that a student taking a mathematics majorsolve at least two problems in a day. Last minute revision simplydoes not work in this major. It will take a mind of a genius to graspall those concepts in a single day. As for the regular minds such asmine, practice is key to success in a mathematics major. Sincemathematics is all about the concept, it is important to internalizethe concept rather than memorizing the steps in a computation. Inaddition, some of the concepts in this major are alien to manystudents. Students are advised to work in groups and consult amongtheir peers. Lone rangers will simply find it difficult to maneuverthis major. In addition to consulting with peers, students should doresearch from numerous sources and seek guidance from their tutors.
Forone to take a mathematics Bachelor’s degree at the Michigan StateUniversity, they are required to meet the following conditions. Havea total of 125 credits including general electives prior to applyingfor this undergraduate course. For students in the school of naturalsciences that want to take a major in mathematics, they can combinetheir initial degree with a few credits in order to be eligible forthe major in question. Students should be taking a course with atleast three credits in biologicals sciences, and at least two creditsin laboratory biological sciences, physics, or chemistry. Applicantsalso need a first year in competency of a foreign language. Inaddition to credits in other courses offered in the school of naturalsciences, an applicant needs at least 27 credits in courses approvedby the mathematics department. The courses approved by themathematics department should be above the 300 level.
Thecareer prospects for a mathematics major are wide. For starters, agraduate with a mathematics major can opt to enter in the world ofacademia and research (Forman and Steen 79). Such an option requiresthe student to proceed to the postgraduate level of mathematics. Thiscareer option requires patience as it may take a learnerapproximately 4 years of postgraduate study before they can earn astable income. Other career options include jobs at statisticsorganizations. A graduate can also work for government departmentssuch as planning and humanitarian aid. Some graduates may carve theirniche in biomedical research. Institutions that do biomedicalresearch need graduates with a mathematics major to make computationfor all their research findings. Other graduates may find careers inthe corporate world as managers and CEO’s. Self-employment is alsoan option. A graduate may open a firm that offers academic assistanceto students with mathematics problems. Careers for a mathematicsmajor are immense and not limited to the aforementioned options.
Apartfrom career prospects, the benefits of studying mathematics areimmense. Top on the list is the ability to use information learnedelsewhere to solve problems. Life is full of challenges that needsolving. Sometimes, the solutions to challenges lie in the knowledgewe gained earlier. helps learners to apply priorknowledge in solving current problems. In addition, a student takinga mathematics major is accustomed to solving problems that lookimpossible at the glance of it. Since mathematics students are usedto tackling hard problems, they will be willing to face theirchallenges head on. teaches its learners resilience. Theconcepts are complex but through resilience, a learner grasps them indue time. A mathematics major requires discipline. As mentionedearlier, mathematics requires daily practice. Such levels ofcommitment are only achievable through discipline. A learner thatacquires discipline in his mathematics major will transfer the traitto other life challenges such as losing weight, saving money,quitting smoking, and adhering to medication.
Inconclusion, I chose the mathematics major because it is my passion. Ihave had interest in solving complex mathematical problems ever sinceI was a little kid. I also chose this major because of the careerprospects that it brings upon graduation. A mathematics major to meis a chance to put into practice what I love the most. Writing skillsin mathematics are in important at the undergraduate level,postgraduate studies, and at the workplace. Writing skills areimportant in completing assignments, writing postgraduate projectproposals, and designing presentations at the workplace. Careerprospects of graduates with a mathematics major include academia andresearch, biomedical research, self-employment, and governmentdepartments. A graduate with a mathematics major can also carve outtheir niche in the corporate world in the form of managers and CEO’s.Learning mathematics imparts valuable life skills in its learners.They involve traits such as discipline, resilience, teamwork, andproblem solving.
Forman, Susan L., and Lynn Arthur Steen. " for workand life." Prospects for school mathematics: Seventy-fiveyears of progress (1995): 219-241.
Lewis H. Robert. What is mathematics the misunderstood subject. Web.2016. Retrieved from <http://www.fordham.edu/info/20603/what_is_mathematics> accessedMarch 29, 2016.
Quely Cory. The importance of writing in mathematics. Why writingallows for deeper understanding of the mathematical content. Journalof undergraduate student research 2014 15(6) 19-22.
Struik, Dirk J. A concise history of mathematics. CourierCorporation, 2012.
Zeldin, Amy L., and Frank Pajares. "Against the odds:Self-efficacy beliefs of women in mathematical, scientific, andtechnological careers." American Educational Research Journal37.1 (2000): 215-246.