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Mathematician

Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Mathematicians apply and develop mathematical principles to solve problems in all areas of the sciences, technology, social sciences, business, industry and commerce.

TASKS

    Mathematicians may perform the following tasks:

  • apply geometry and calculus to design objects in fields such as architecture, computer graphics and robotics
  • analyse statistics to find predictive models for traffic flow, insurance risks, consumer research, market analysis and clinical trials
  • develop predictive models for financial markets and products for financial risk management
  • simulate processes in chemical, mining or agricultural industries by translating them into mathematical models
  • develop computer modelling for industrial design
  • develop and improve mathematical models to describe natural phenomena such as soil erosion, the weather and climate, ocean currents or biological behaviour
  • develop computer programmes for use in mathematical modelling and problem-solving
  • design computer programmes to make and break complex security codes, or investigate and develop schemes for information security
  • carry out network analysis for the study of road systems, airline routes, transport and communication systems
  • use linear programming for urban, regional and transport planning
  • engage in image and signal processing for astronomy, cartography and medical and radar imaging
  • analyse problems for the service, engineering or manufacturing sectors
  • develop communications technology and information theory
  • develop new mathematical structures, ranging across the areas of pure and applied mathematics, statistics, computing, operations research, commerce and industry
  • teach mathematics at school, VOC and university level in Australia or overseas

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • a good imagination
  • enjoy mathematics
  • analytical skills
  • able to take initiative
  • able to persevere
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • enjoy problem-solving

Interest Area

Figures/Computational Scientific Technical/Engineering

SPECIALISATIONS

Applied Mathematician - formulates and studies mathematical models of environmental, physical and social systems in order to understand and, where possible, optimise those systems.

Mathematical Analyst - analyses data and assesses risks within the finance and insurance industries, as well as market research, biosecurity and genetics.

Mathematical Modeller - constructs mathematical models (often via computer technology) to simulate real phenomena across a wide range of applications, including meteorology, geography and finance.

Pure Mathematician - develops new mathematical structures and approaches to solving existing problems, in order to further mathematical knowledge.

Scientific Programmer - develops algorithms and computer programmes for use in mathematical modelling, data analysis and problem-solving in fields such as industrial design, climate science and geoscience.

EDUCATION & TRAINING


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a mathematician you usually have to study mathematics at university. There are a number of different degrees within which you can study mathematics. These include arts, engineering and science. Mathematics can also be studied at some universities as part of a double degree with other courses such as law, medicine, actuarial studies and finance. Mathematics and statistics are closely related areas and many students combine study in both.

To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology are normally required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


Additional Information

    The Australian Mathematical Society's website provides links to most mathematics departments in Australian universities. Visit their website for more information.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Mathematicians are employed in a wide range of capacities such as scientists, top-level and mid-level managers, executives and administrators, academics and research personnel in universities, teachers, computer systems analysts and developers, and in the finance sector. They are in demand in ever-increasing areas where mathematical models are used, such as in insurance models in the finance industry, econometric models in government departments and models related to the physical sciences. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and other government bodies are also employers of mathematicians. Additionally, there is nearly always a demand for teachers of mathematics, particularly in secondary schools.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Mathematician Australian Mathematical Society Inc. (Business Office) Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Statistical Society of Australia


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