Author Topic: Applied Math jobs?  (Read 809 times)

mozar

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Applied Math jobs?
« on: February 08, 2019, 09:00:15 PM »
Hello,
I'm thinking about careers in math. I have a master's degree in accounting and I was a federal auditor for ten years. I was disappointed there wasn't more math in my jobs. The most I had to do was multiplication.
I was bored and if I have to work I need to do something where my brain is engaged. I'm working with a wonderful math tutor who is helping me relearn math and plug any holes in my knowledge.
I plan on doing informational interviews but I would like to ask my stupid questions here first. When I look at job databases it's just a job title and a blurb if I'm lucky. I haven't found resources that talk about day to day activities. So if anybody has an applied math job I would like to hear about it.

About me:
I live in Maryland
I'm a hippie so I would really prefer to not design weapons
I'm interested in real life problems so improving an algorithm for Linked In doesn't interest me.
I am prone to making careless mistakes (for complicated reasons that I can go into if you are really interested). So making life or death decisions would be a bad idea (the job air traffic controller comes to mind)
A job I have heard of that sounds interesting is doing statistics in a health care setting.
I'm not interested in IT, academia, pharmaceuticals or finance.
Thoughts? Ideas? Does anybody do math related work without a degree in math?

Goldielocks

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 11:59:50 PM »
Industrial engineering.   I did lots of statistical related math, a lot of "collect observational data to create baseline".  Change something. " Collect observational data on new scenario."   Do the statistics /math to creat a model of how labour is spent (or profist made, or utilities generated, per unit of X).

Heavier, more complext math -- I did quite a bit of queing theory -- such as line ups for airline checkin, or at a retail store, or at a cafeteria.
Simulation software was fun to figure out, too.  -- how many snow desposit lanes do we need to build to keep the snow plows a peak efficiency for offloading at the new site, for a 100 year storm even, when the population is to grow at 3% per year for the next 20 years, and we have two or three entrances?

When I did environmental engineering, carbon mass balances, models for water/lake system flow and simple mathematical models for hydrology, waste water engineering systems for reactors to treat organic waste, and my favorite, heat transfer for conservation of utilities...

I also did a lot of cost benefit analysis, sometimes using these models that could get pretty complex, almost like a mini-software program.

I don't have a maths degree, just a bachelor in engineering, and I was very very tempted to take a grad course or two in multivariable design of experiments because of the complex studies I would set up (e.g., if we gave more hours to the bakery department, how does that impact sales, despite other variations in weather and foot traffic that occurs in week B versus baseline week A?).  I never did.  My MBA helped a bit with the cost / benefit analysis, so your accounting background would serve you well, there.

ETA - my DH uses a lot of math in programming and in design of gas sensors.  Each motor, fan, needs math to calibrate and to size it, and there is a model for how the sensors pick up on gas concentrations, by temperature, that he needs to program into the design.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 12:01:29 AM by Goldielocks »

mozar

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2019, 05:47:14 AM »
That all sounds very cool. Thank you @Goldielocks

AMandM

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 08:38:35 PM »
Public health might be interesting to you, but I'm pretty sure you need and MPH or field experience to get a job.

COEE

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 07:17:49 AM »
If you like stats then a Production or Product Engineer Job at a IC manufacture might be for you.  LOTS and LOTS of stats for limit setting on datasheets... You'll look at lots of data plots, understand trends, temp shifts, lot-to-lot variation, process improvement, etc... not so much number crunching, but applied math.  I find it boring, but you may love it.  You usually don't work with weapons - at least not directly.

As an EE I've had to perform worst case analysis on my circuits.  This requires knowledge of circuit design.  Most of the analysis I've performed has been done using linear algebra with various software packages.  I've had some Laplace transforms to figure out for control loop and filter applications.  Again - it usually boils down to linear algebra once you're in the s-domain.  I look at bode plots on a regular basis - again applied mathematics.  My EE jobs have been so much more than just circuit analysis though.

I'd give careful thought about your "careless mistakes".  Try to figure out how and why you make careless mistakes and take the next step to correct for them.  Careless mistakes tend to not make you any friends the places I've worked.  And when you have a million parts run through production and your yields are 70% when they should be 98%+ it can look really bad on the person that set all of the limits.  That is - we all make mistakes, don't be careless.

Good luck, let us know what you end up doing!

SKL-HOU

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 07:58:46 AM »
How about being an actuary? Is that possibly something that might interest you. I believe it is statistics/math heavy. But whatever job/career you decide to move forward with you need to do something about your "careless mistakes". It may not be life or death in every job but nobody wants to work with someone making careless mistakes all the time. I remember some of your posts from a while back and you sometimes seem too cocky and I am wondering maybe that is causing you to make these mistakes?

urbanista

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 07:42:51 PM »
Even if you get a maths degree, chances are you will not be doing much math on the job. You will be writing a lot of code. You'd better like programming because it is 90% of the work.
Source: one degree in accounting, three degrees in maths and statistics, 10 years work experience in analytics/data science.

mozar

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2019, 02:48:04 PM »
Quote
seem too cocky and I am wondering maybe that is causing you to make these mistakes?

Yes, I am too cocky but that's not the issue. The mental illness that I have has a lot in common with adhd. Which for me means I miss simple stuff. But I'm working on it.

My plan right now is to get to calculus with my tutor and look into math classes at the local community college in the fall.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 02:50:07 PM »
Quote
seem too cocky and I am wondering maybe that is causing you to make these mistakes?

Yes, I am too cocky but that's not the issue. The mental illness that I have has a lot in common with adhd. Which for me means I miss simple stuff. But I'm working on it.

My plan right now is to get to calculus with my tutor and look into math classes at the local community college in the fall.

I can definitely see that being a possible reason. I hope you find a solution.

Goldielocks

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 06:36:20 PM »
Two things that help me out with small math errors / problems.

1)  Having a good pre-estimate of what the answer SHOULD be...  like, hmmm.. the around should be around 30 seconds... and then when I bet -2000 seconds, I know that there is an error.

2)  Peer review.   All the professional engineer work requires a peer review, where someone with a good sense of what the solution typically looks like, reviews your work, AND they will double check the important calculations.

I mean, I love math, and I make a lot of small errors, too.

mozar

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 11:17:12 AM »
That makes me feel better @Goldielocks

historienne

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Re: Applied Math jobs?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2019, 11:24:26 AM »
My husband has a dual masters in CS and math and is a data scientist.  You definitely need to know how to program, but he uses the math/stats side of things pretty intensively as well. 

Actuary also came to mind for me.