Why Majoring in Mathematics Is Like Drinking Red Bull

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People who can think and speak mathematically can capture the complexity and beauty of life’s systems concisely and in a way that fosters further discovery. While this sounds like a grandiose claim, think about what it means and the opportunities it presents:

Any system, process, device, or event can be modeled in terms of mathematical functions. Often, the mathematical way of describing something is much clearer, more precise, and more helpful than trying to use words to describe it. And, being able to describe something mathematically is an essential prerequisite to being able to use a computer to simulate and study it.

So, that leads to the following observation: any field of study whose advancement requires modeling its systems and processes will need the talents of someone skilled in mathematics.

So, who should major in mathematics? Anyone who enjoys math and has an aptitude for it should. It opens doors. Sometimes those doors don’t lead directly to a career. But mathematics gives you a unique prowess in solving problems that the vast majority of people who don’t practice such a disciplined, precise way of thinking can’t.

And let’s face it: most of our educational system focuses more on verbal skills than on mathematical skills, so there is a shortage of people who have the ability to pursue advanced study in mathematics. If you have a mathematical mind, as evidenced by your grades in past math courses and by your math ACT score, flaunt it. You should strongly consider majoring in math or perhaps minoring in it.

Bottom line: studying mathematics will make you a better thinker and a better problem solver. It will give you wings.

Ray Klump

About Ray Klump

Professor and chair of Mathematics and Computer Science Director, Master of Science in Information Security Lewis University http://online.lewisu.edu/ms-information-security.asp, http://online.lewisu.edu/resource/engineering-technology/articles.asp, http://cs.lewisu.edu. You can find him on Google+.

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