Mathematics is the language of all physical, life and social sciences. Students who pursue the study of mathematics learn to solve problems and to communicate such solutions effectively. In an increasingly technological society, people are needed who have the skills to help solve scientific, business and mathematics-based problems. Mathematics graduates find employment in business, industry and government, as well as in the traditional fields of research and higher education. Many mathematics majors go on to earn graduate degrees.
Statistics allows students to learn to use information about situations of uncertainty and to make decisions under risk. Statisticians use their mathematical skills in a variety of ways: designing and implementing surveys, analyzing and interpreting numerical data, and predicting trends, for example. Because data is collected in many fields, statisticians are often called upon to apply their knowledge to a particular area, like engineering, pharmaceutical or biological research, AIDS research, educational studies, or in the social sciences.
Physics, the study of the laws of nature from the very smallest scales of sub-atomic particles to the very largest in cosmology, is a challenging and rewarding subject. It forms the basis of most modern technologies. Studying physics enables students to think critically and learn how to solve problems. Physics opens doors to a wide variety of careers. People are using physics in their jobs in many unique and exciting ways today, for example, as scientist, educator, environmentalist, asset manager, video game designer, fighter pilot, to name a few. If you plan a career in physics, strengthen your background by taking the most advanced mathematics and physics courses your high school has to offer.
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
The study of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences combines many different subjects, such as geology, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, oceanography, meteorology, and environmental science, providing students with a broad background in the sciences. Topics such as global climate change, mineral and energy resources, and the natural environment provide students with a background enabling them to understand the interconnected earth systems, and to prepare for careers in education, governmental agencies, and private industry.
Students interested in a career in which they can apply their knowledge of mathematics and statistics might wish to consider a career as an actuary, a business professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk. Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs. The Purdue University West Lafayette (PUWL) campus has an excellent bachelor’s degree program leading to a profession in actuarial science, and the first couple of years of required mathematics courses are offered at PNC.