Selected Career Profiles
Software Design Engineer
A software design engineer typically holds a bachelor's degree with a heavy emphasis on computer science and mathematics. The daily job may include designing software for specific tasks, testing software that has already been written, and computer-controlled automation of industrial or commercial processes.
A mathematician working in the aerospace industry typically holds a master's degree or adoctorate. Samples of tasks include constructing mathematical simulations of aerodynamic and orbital conditions of space flight with a view to predicting problems before they occur, optimization of spaceborne systems, and the logistics of integrating a wide variety of mechanical and electronic systems such that control can be maintained by a limited flight crew.
A biostatistician typically holds a bachelor's or a master's degree in mathematics with supporting courses in biology, primarily genetics. Fields of endeavour include integrating a variety of statistics collected from crop and animal farming for the purpose of combing genetic traits that will boost yield, improve resistance to blights and disease, and decrease the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The pharmaceutical industry employs biostatisticians to investigate the effectiveness of new drugs, and determine the probability of harmful side effects.
A trademark lawyer holds a law degree, with a strong background in mathematics. The logic of mathematics is necessary when building up a case for trademark protection, or prosecuting a defendant for alleged trademark infringement. Statistics are used to show the level of harm produced by the infringement.
Electronic Commerce Specialist
An electronic commerce specialist holds a bachelor's degree with a strong background in mathematics, specifically combinatorics and optimization, and systems analysis, as well as computer science. A typical job focus is managing systems of electronic data interchange for a large corporation, or among corporations. It is important to transfer business information and data in a timely and accurate manner while taking into account that a variety of standard file formats may be in use.
Commercial Marine and Fishing Analyst
A researcher working in the marine and fishing industry holds a bachelor's degree or an advanced degree with an emphasis on ecology, biology, statistics, dynamic systems, and linear algebra. The focus is on managing the marine environment and fishing practices to create a sustainable harvest of fish and shellfish. The recent collapse of several of the world's major fisheries underscores the importance of this line of research.
Laser Optics Design
A mathematician working in this industry typically holds an advanced degree, with emphasis on vector analysis and optimization. Tasks include working out optimal mathematics models for computer control of laser-guided targeting and ranging applications for both civil and military clients. Civil applications include autopilot systems for commercial aircraft, which can guide the aircraft from gate to gate in zero visibility. Military systems include terrain-following missiles, as well as self-guided targeting for various weapon systems.
Digital Camera Design
A mathematician working in this field typically holds an advanced degree with an emphasis on creating mathematical models and systems design. A strong background in computer science is also needed. Modern digital cameras require complex algorithms to process the raw data from the image sensor electronics into a photograph that accurately reflects the luminance and chrominance of the original subject. As new technologies are developed, it is important to develop algorithms that exploit the strengths of the new technology in an optimal fashion.
Computer Chip Mask Design
A mathematician working in this field holds an advance degree with an emphasis on network optimization as well as knowledge of solid-state physics. Modern computer chips are etched, layer-by-layer, on silicon wafers using a laser or an electron beam. Each layer is represented by a mask, which guides the beam, such that the desired circuit pathways are etched into the silicon. Mathematics is used to ensure that no undesired connections (short circuits) occur, and that the maximum density of components is achieved for optimal miniaturization.
An actuary holds a bachelor's degree or an advanced degree in mathematics, and has passed the required actuarial exams. The most common application is insurance. Insurance companies employ actuaries to predict the claim payouts to be expected for different kinds of insurance so that realistic fee schedules can be drawn up. Other subjects useful to a mathematician working in this field include psychology, sociology, economics, and political science.