Possible Majors: Math

October 26, 2006

Well, as a continuation of the Two Roads post, I thought I might make my journey towards a major a while big blogging project! I could even change the title of this blog to “What will Dave major in”! I could, but I won’t. :)

Anyway, since I don’t really know what I do want to major in, I thought I might post on a few things that I don’t want to major in and why.

The first in this series is mathematics. This one’s quite simple, really.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love mathematics. Math has always been one of my favorite classes ever since, well, since I started learning about it. I loved the rigor of learning the time tables (quick, what’s 7 * 8?), the magic of how linear algebra got rid of those stupid “guess and check” problems, and how calculus manages to derive most of the laws of kinematics with a few very simple integrations. I love how math can explain most of anything in the world (a la the show N3UMBERS), and how no matter how far you go, math will always have more to give you. And of course, I love how cerebral math is: no body required.

That all said, I can’t imagine math as anything much more than a fun hobby. I can’t imagine it as a career. Admittedly, if you’re solving proofs with top dollar prizes, it can be a very profitable hobby. And also admittedly, I understand that a lot of what we know in physics, chemistry, economics, and several other fields owe their history to math.

So, what can you do with a math major? I see two options (once again, I know I’m being extremely shortsighted and biased here): a math teacher or a hermit that lives in a whole somewhere trying to solve the 4-colored map problem. I could never be a teacher: can you imagine kids actually wanting to listen to me? And the hermit in the whole thing sounds like fun, but I’d rather contemplate my navel and see friends and family occasionally rather than spend 4 years proving something only to find that an algebra early on makes the rest of the work useless.

So, all that to just say I don’t think a math major is for me. Maybe a math minor: that could be fun (you know, like a hobby).

One possible major down. A ton more to go.

Wish me luck.


2 Responses to “Possible Majors: Math”

  1. Davum said

    lol. What if I were to tell you that you should be a philosophical physicist. There is such a thing. It’s called string theory.

  2. Ed A. said

    Actuaries use math all the time.

    And they get very well paid for it.

    If I wasn’t into Engineering, thats probably the way I’d have gone.

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