101 Careers in Mathematics (Classroom Resource Materials Series) / Edition 2

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This second edition of the immediately popular 101 Careers in Mathematics contains updates on the career paths of individuals profiled in the first edition, along with many new profiles. No career counselor should be without this valuable resource.

The authors of the essays in the this volume describe a wide variety of careers for which a background in the mathematical sciences is useful. Each of the jobs presented show real people in real jobs. Their individual histories demonstrate how the study of mathematics helped them land good paying jobs in predictable places like IBM, AT&T, and American Airlines, and in surprising places like FedEx Corporation, L.L. Bean, and Perdue Farms, Inc. You will also learn about job opportunities in the Federal Government, as well as exciting careers in the arts, sculpture, music, and television. There are really no limits to what you can do if you are well prepared in mathematics.

The degrees earned by the authors profiled here range from bachelors to masters to Ph.D. in approximately equal numbers. Most of the writers use the mathematical sciences on a daily basis in their work; others rely on the general problem-solving skills acquired in mathematics as they deal with complex issues.

Students should not overlook the articles in the Appendix that are reprinted from the MAA's student magazine, Math Horizons.  These articles provide valuable advice on looking for a job and on the expectations of industry.

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Editorial Reviews

Rich Wyllie
"This wonderful resource book contains a variety of career profiles written in a very friendly way. It helps to answer the questions "What can math be used for?" "What does an actuary do in his or her career?" and "How does a sculptor use math?" In short, two- to four-page essays, the answers to these questions, and to at least 100 other questions are addressed. The editor of this book has done a fine job of gathering information from a wide variety of people in the workplace, all of whom have a background in mathematics. After receiving their bachelor's degree, however, they have gone in many different directions...In a classroom, this information can be used by students to see the values of studying mathematics and to answer the questions posed. The stories could also be shared with a class during that last half-period on Friday, with time for a discussion of the information...Since everyone is involved in careers in some way, this publication is a great resource."
The Mathematics Teacher
Thomas Sonar
"This is already the second edition of an unusual book containing 101 descriptions of careers, jobs, and professional development of people who once studied mathematics- by these people themselves! The spectrum of mathematicians is fairly large, ranging from the young bachelor working now in a bank to a distinguished professor of mathematics now living in retirement.
All short reports document that mathematicians in general can survive in nearly any professional environment...This book is highly recommended to any maths student who is currently thinking about the time after leaving university."
Zentrallbalt fur Mathematik
W. C. Chadwick
"By dipping into the pages [you] can quickly appreciate that maths graduates find employment in a great variety of challenging and rewarding occupations. The message comes over loud and clear that 'the world needs maths graduates'. The subjects have been carefully chosen to cover different ages, careers and companies, and a helpful contents page allows you to pick out those if interest...[This book] would be a useful addition to school libraries. Those unsure about whether a maths degree is the right choice for them would do well to refer to it."
Mathematical Spectrum
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780883857281
  • Publisher: Mathematical Association of America
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Series: Classroom Resource Materials Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Jeffrey Zane Anderson
Wabash College
Purdue University
Industrial Engineer Commonwealth Aluminum Corporation

Although I had an aptitude for mathematics during my elementary and secondary education, my interest in mathematics did not begin until I was a student at Wabash College. As a college student, I was attracted to mathematics by the logic and discipline required to successfully complete complex mathematics problems. During a study abroad program in Aberdeen, Scotland, my interest in mathematics was enhanced by an introduction to the applications of linear  algebra and optimization. This interest, after graduation from Wabash, led me to Purdue University, where I complete a MS degree from the School of Industrial Engineering. At Purdue, I specialized in operations research, which is broadly defined as the application of mathematical models to business and engineering problems. My study of mathematics and related subjects has uniquely qualified me for the industrial engineering career.

As an industrial engineer for Commonwealth Aluminum Corporation, a rolled aluminum sheet manufacturer, I draw daily upon the skills acquired from my mathematics education. At Commonwealth, my job duties required that I unite the concepts of mathematics, operations research, and industrial engineering to conduct computer simulation and data analysis projects.

Capacity determination is one application of computer simulation that Commonwealth utilizes. For example, working with other industrial engineers, we developed a comprehensive simulation model of our casting facilities. This model enables us to test the effects of process improvements and facility modifications before any capital expenditure is made. Construction of such a model requires the ability to translate 'real world' processes into a simulation program. Then the appropriate selection of the statistical distributions to apply in this program must be made. By studying mathematics, I have been provided with the necessary logic and analytical skills to complete these tasks.

Yet another way that I apply mathematics in my industrial engineering career is through data analysis. Effective data analysis requires competency in choosing correct analysis variables and presentation of the results in a manner which nontechnical management can readily understand. I regularly use commercially produced statistical analysis software packages and spreadsheets to complete the required analysis. By understanding the rationale behind the algorithms that these software packages apply, I am able to more effectively complete the analysis and clearly communicate the results.

Being adaptive and well versed in computer applications, of which mathematics is an integral component, is instrument in the field of industrial engineering. Without a firm understanding of mathematics, meeting this criteria would be unattainable. By studying mathematics, I have gained the confidence in my quantitative and analytical abilities to be an effective industrial engineer.

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