What is a Mathematician?

Also known as: Pure Mathematician, Applied Mathematician.

Mathematicians use high-level mathematics and technology to develop new mathematical principles, understand relationships between existing principles, and solve real-world problems.

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What does a Mathematician do?

Mathematicians typically do the following:

  • Expand mathematical knowledge by developing new principles
  • Recognize previously unknown relationships between known mathematical principles
  • Create models to resolve practical problems in fields such as business, government, engineering, and the sciences
  • Develop computational methods and computer codes
  • Compare inferences derived from models with observations or experiments

Mathematicians work in government and in private science and engineering research. They work on teams with engineers, scientists, and other professionals.

Workers other than formal mathematicians use mathematical techniques. For example, engineers, computer scientists, physicists, and economists use mathematics extensively. Some workers, such as statisticians, actuaries, and operations research analysts, are specialists in a particular branch of mathematics. Some people with a mathematics background become math teachers.

What is the workplace of a Mathematician like?

Mathematicians work in the government and in private science and engineering research companies. They often work with engineers, scientists, and other professionals and therefore must often work around others' schedules.

Mathematicians who work in postsecondary education usually have a mix of teaching and research responsibilities. Many academic mathematicians do research by themselves or in collaboration with other mathematicians. Collaborators work together at the same institution or from different locations, communicating electronically. Mathematicians in academia often have help from graduate students.

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