Applied mathematics is the mathematics that is created in response to problems in science, engineering, and society. Applied mathematicians work on a wide variety of topics such as how to construct methods for multicriteria decision making (requiring discrete mathematics and statistics), predicting how the financial markets will behave (requiring probability/statistics, analysis, optimization), and analyzing how liquid flows around solids (requiring expertise in computational methods and analysis). Students with an applied mathematics background are prepared for careers in the insurance industry, electronics and computer manufacturers, logistics companies, pharmaceutical firms, and more.
Our graduates work in financial and insurance companies as analysts, computer companies as programmers and hardware developers, and in many different fields as researchers, as well as academia. They have gone to excellent graduate schools in mathematics (pure, applied, & financial), physics, design, accounting, and M.B.A. programs.
To get an idea of what you can do with a degree in applied mathematics:
- "Thinking of a Career in Applied Mathematics?" and more from SIAM on Careers & Jobs
- An interesting article in CNN Financial News on the increasing popularity of applied mathematics careers.
- Information about the mathematics profession from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The American Mathematical Society has a site with career information for (non-academic) mathematicians. (Also Internships and Co-ops and this.)
- The Mathematical Association of America has career information for members, lists examples of how mathematics is used in the workplace, and published the book 101 Careers in Mathematics (and their review).
- This Wall Street Journal article states the best careers use math extensively, based on a range of factors, from quality of worklife to salary to career prospects.
- Mathematicians, statisticians, and actuaries have some of the best jobs in the country according to CareerCast, a job-seeker assistance website.
- You can do anything with a math degree: for example, work in Data Analytics in Healthcare.
- Careers in Operations Research and Analytics
(For current IIT students looking into jobs, internships, or graduate school: Careers for AM Majors at IIT.)
Applied Mathematics allows maximum flexibility; students majoring in Applied Mathematics have ample opportunity to assemble a portfolio of courses that will satisfy both intellectual needs and career preparation. There is a wide variety of courses offered, with strengths in contemporary topics in applied mathematics, loosely organized under the four subject headings: applied analysis, computational mathematics, discrete applied mathematics, and stochastics (including statistics, mathematical finance, and stochastic analysis). If desired, a student can focus on a "Specialization" (described below).
A minor is required, which gives students an area of focus where mathematics may be applied. It consists of five or more related courses in an area outside of Applied Mathematics. With a minor in computer science, business, or one of the engineering areas, for example, the student will be well prepared to enter the job market in business or government.
Students will also be prepared to continue in graduate school. There is also the option of a co-terminal degree, where a student graduates with a B.S. and an M.S. at the same time.
Applied Mathematics Undergraduate Handbook (updated Fall 2015)
Applied Mathematics Specializations (updated 2013); for 2015 update, see AM Undergraduate Handbook, Section VI
Other minors: see the Undergraduate Bulletin
Co-Terminal degrees at IIT