What can you do with a Mathematics degree?

This article is not going to be a mathematical one. It’s about what sort of careers mathematics degree can lead onto. I just want to explain to people the sorts of possibilities that can open up if you’re taking a degree in mathematics.

Mathematics graduates are very much in demand and a math degree is about as good a non vocational degree as you can find. I was a math tutor for several years a few years ago, and it strikes me that people don’t always realize that mathematics can open a lot of doors rather than closing doors. It’s clear if you do an engineering degree, you’re going to go become an engineer probably but with a mathematics degree it’s slightly unclear. People are always saying, “Well, I’m really interested in mathematics but my parents want me to study medicine because I think it can lead to a career.”

What I want to show people is mathematics can lead to a wide range of careers. Your phone wouldn't work without mathematics, that electronic thing in front of you wouldn't work, your remote control wouldn't work… Actually, painting your new walls to get rid of the ghastly wallpaper that’s in the house that you moved is going to have been designed by some mathematicians who have their input into these things.

Let’s assume that you are interested in topology. So we can talk about the theoretic topology and the topological dynamics. If you are interested in the shape of space which’s the topology side of things, and topological dynamics, you are interested in looking at the sorts of structures that can arise as you run a dynamical system, so a system that explains the economy, population dynamics that sort of things.

Even very simple systems can result in ideas of chaos invariants assistance. I’m interested in working out the structure of those sorts of objects that can arise in those questions. My function somehow has run to ten to infinity.\

Infinities are bad. Black holes… Center of a black hole. Physics breaks down.

We have gotten a singularity. We have problems. Our country needs mathematically literate people.

Mathematics is the language that underpins how we understand all sorts of processes. Those might be economic processes, or they might be physical processes, or they might be understanding how to analyze huge sets of data that arise from your nectar cards, and so on.

So we need mathematicians to be able to trawl through that data. We need mathematicians to model how a racing car goes around a racing track. We need mathematicians to work out where to place mobile phone masts. My advice would be to choose a degree that you are going to enjoy. I would say you should treat mathematics as a fun subject. It’s exciting. It’s rewarding, but it’s a subject that probes really deeply into our understanding of the universe around us. ‘

From the smallest quantum theoretic thing to the largest relativity…