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Monash Science Mathematical Sciences Brochure 2015

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The language of science

Science and the scientific method are our best ways

of understanding how the world works, but two things

keep popping up numbers and equations. The obvious

tool to analyse numbers and equations is mathematics,

making mathematics a language that can be used in

every scientific area.

Mathematicians make it possible to harness and improve

technology, explore space, shop online, bring animation

to our screens, model climates, and solve complex

logistic and traffic issues.

In physics, mathematics describes our understanding of

matter, from the smallest scales of atoms and subatomic

particles, to the structure of the universe.

In engineering, the language of mathematics is used

to understand fields as diverse as the aerodynamics

of flight, the destructive power of waves and the design

of telecommunication networks.

In the biological sciences, the growth of populations,

be they rabbits or viruses, and the sequencing of the

human genome are investigated using mathematics.

In finance, the trading on stock exchanges and economic

modelling are reliant on mathematics.

Mathematics can also be studied for its own sake, with

the bonus that many results in pure mathematics find

important applications years after their initial discovery.

Do as much mathematics

and statistics as you can in

your degrees these skills

will empower your

professional lives.

Sir Gustav Nossal

ACCBE FAA FRS

GRADUATES IN MATHEMATICS HAVE VARIED AND DIVERSE CAREER OPTIONS

QUANTITATIVE ANALYST

DATA

ANALYST

Studying maths equips you with a range of valuable, unique skills. Some of the exciting

areas mathematicians at Monash are working on include mathematical modelling to predict

behaviour, analysis using pure maths, and stochastic processes involving risk, randomness

and change.

Mathematics and statistics are also the two cornerstones for

decision making and various quantitative activities in commerce,

industry, education and defence. From direct and daily

experience, most companies and organisations have realised that

success depends critically on the level of analytical, quantitative

and statistical skills of their workforce and they therefore seek

employees with a sound mathematical training.

By studying mathematics at university, you will also develop

general skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, modelling,

learning, analysis, research and creativity, which can be used

wherever your career may take you.

See monash.edu/maths/careers. There are also extensive resources on mathematics careers at www.amsi.org.au/careers

Where

mathematics

can take you

Mathematics is

the basis of most

of modern science

and engineering

Young people

must come to see

science and math

degrees as key to

opportunity. If we

fail at this, we wont

be able to compete in

the global economy.

Bill Gates, 2007

Pure mathematics

is, in its way,

the poetry

of logical ideas.

Albert Einstein

Why study mathematics?

To complete your science studies and continue your career

in science you must have suitable mathematical training.

Mathematics and statistics will help you to:

think logically and clearly,

and apply a range of

problem-solving strategies

use data and other

quantitative information

effectively

understand our world

and universe

model, analyse and

improve systems

appreciate the beauty

and perfection of theory in

nature and the sciences

obtain employment at a

good starting salary.

Studying mathematics at Monash

The School of Mathematical Sciences offers

a variety of units and major sequences

designed to meet the diverse needs of

students at Monash.

The School offers mathematics units at all

undergraduate levels. These are offered

across a wide range of areas of modern

mathematics, from mathematical methods

to statistics to pure mathematics, as well

as demonstrating the utility of mathematics

across a variety of applications.

Majors and/or extended majors are offered in

each of the following areas:

Applied mathematics

Financial and insurance mathematics

Mathematics

Mathematical statistics

Pure mathematics

Minors are also offered in mathematics

and statistics.

Details of the individual mathematics units

are provided in the Monash University

Undergraduate Handbook at

monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks

You can take a mathematics major at

Monash in the following courses:

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science Advanced

Research (Honours)

Bachelor of Science Advanced

Global Challenges (Honours)

A major in mathematics can also be taken

as part of a double degree.

For further details and information on these options please see our Science

Undergraduate Course Guide or visit monash.edu/science/future/courses

Honours studies

Following their first degree,

students can apply to do honours.

The honours program involves

the completion of a research

project and coursework options

that cover a broad range of topics

selected by the student in

conjunction with the coordinator.

Postgraduate studies

After honours, students wishing

to become research or academic

mathematicians can undertake MSc

and PhD studies. These degrees

involve coursework options and a

research project or thesis.

Lots of companies need people with a maths background

and studying maths at Monash has provided me with lots

of opportunities.

I did an eight week summer vacation program at Ernst and

Young, which was fantastic experience. I got a graduate

position with the company at the end of it.

Jessica Gibson, Bachelor of Science

BANKING AND FINANCE

METEOROLOGIST/

WEATHER FORECASTER

STATISTICIAN

SCIENCE JOURNALISM

ACTUARY

MEDICAL

RESEARCH/

SCIENCE

TEACHER

COMPUTER

ANALYST

ASTROPHYSICIST

ASTRONOMER

OCEANOGRAPHER

OPERATIONS

RESEARCH

ANALYST

FINANCIAL

ANALYST

CRYPTOLOGIST

MATHEMATICAL MODELLER

The School conducts research within the broad areas of applied mathematics,

pure mathematics and statistics.

For more information on the research happening in mathematics at Monash, visit:

monash.edu/maths

Laurie Brown

Graduate, Bachelor of Science

/ Bachelor of Communications

(Honours), majoring in Computer

Science and Mathematics

Head of operations, Palmerston

Capital Management

A science degree is less about the

actual knowledge and more about a

process and a way of thinking. I am known for always trying to

find the most efficient way of doing things and maths is a big part

of why I think that way. At Monash, I chose to study the most

mathematically-flavoured subjects and graduated with a triple

major in mathematics, econometrics, and computer science,

and honours in econometrics.

Day to day, my job now means staying on top of all the trades

being made at any one time, ensuring that theyre settled,

and that the margins that the fund is paying reflect the risk

of its portfolio. My mathematical expertise gives me an extra

level of understanding.

Finance isnt just about putting the trades on. Often you need to

borrow money to trade. How much you are allowed to borrow is

based on the risk of your book. The only way to understand that

risk is to model it using maths.

My computer science skills have enabled me to build programs

that automate the funds reporting to both financial authorities

and investors, and mathematics helps enormously.

I feel that I could work in any industry. The basic mathematical

skills are very transferable.

Norman Do

Pure mathematician

If you keep your eyes open, you see

patterns everywhere. Once you start

playing with mathematical patterns,

you suddenly need to work out the

formulas behind them.

I love problems. Some people see

problems in life as a bad thing.

Mathematicians love them. Many of

my ideas intersect with physics and I work together with physicists

to come up with the mathematical formulas behind what might

appear to be random.

I have a very special home here at Monash. It is creative and

vibrant and full of energy.

Andrew Chiu

Graduate, Bachelor of

Science / Bachelor of

Engineering, majoring in

Mathematics Analyst at

Deloitte Australia

Science definitely taught me how

to think critically and then how to be

able to summarise information in a

way thats understandable by other people.

Before I started working in this field, I would have thought an

analyst just drew graphs and joined the dots. Its only when you

get your hands into it that you realise the impact youre making

youre learning how people, society and the world work.

I work with a broad range of clients including health care providers,

hospitals, insurers and government. I love the work because an

analyst does such a wide variety of things no two jobs are the

same for me.

It really pays to keep your eyes open for opportunities. Explore

things. Youll eventually find something that catches your eye that

you want to chase. Then go for it.

Kate Smith-Miles

Professor

I am an applied mathematician,

which means that I love taking

the mathematical tool kit that Ive

developed over many years and

applying that to problems of real

significance to society. Maths is

everywhere, and a mathematician

is able to see the beauty and potential of that.

Once you look at something with a mathematical lens you have

the ability to describe how it is, you have the ability to describe

how it could be, and how you can shift and how you can improve.

One of the great things about mathematics is that its an abstract

language and with that language you can model all sorts of things.

One of my challenges in collaborating with people from other

science areas is understanding the essence of the problem and

getting to the point where you can describe something as a

maths problem. Then you can just throw it your whole arsenal

of mathematical techniques at it to try to come up with the best

solution. You can take that mathematical solution and translate it

back into the real world context, into something that is actionable.

Our people

monash.edu/maths

Science

Mathematics

The language

of science.

Maths

solves

problems

Maths is

perfection

Maths

makes

decisions

Applied Mathematics

Applied mathematics is concerned with utilising mathematical

techniques and models to obtain practical solutions to concrete

problems. This may help explain observations, or predict what

may happen in the future. Applications of mathematics span most

branches of modern science, engineering, information technology

and commerce. In particular, biology and medicine are important

emerging areas where a mathematical approach can reveal

new knowledge.

Applied mathematicians do not just rely on existing mathematical

theories and techniques often they need to modify or mould

them to the specific application. They try to view problems in an

abstract form, so they can identify links with other applications

and build upon the existing approaches and knowledge.

They use computational techniques to understand the solution

better to reveal its properties. Sometimes they need to develop

new theories.

Applied mathematicians develop and use mathematics to

improve our lives.

Pure Mathematics

Pure mathematics is concerned with the abstract, the rigour

and the beauty of perfection. Although pure mathematics

constructions are motivated by reasons other than applications,

such constructions often become the basis for applied

mathematics to solve the most concrete problems.

Pure mathematicians imagine the unimaginable. This includes

imaginary numbers and impossible figures such as Klein bottles.

And, magically, such wonderful constructions become the

basis of the most practical of mathematics applied to solve the

most concrete of problems: the theory of prime numbers is

fundamental to the security systems in electronic banking; notions

of the curvature of space and time are applied in designing global

positioning systems; imaginary numbers are used in everything

from signal processing to the analysis of fluid flow. The examples

are endless.

Pure mathematicians dont just dream the impossible they make

the impossible real.

Statistics

There are two important parts of statistics the mathematical

theory and the applications of this theory in the real world.

Mathematical statistics is the branch of mathematics that deals

with models involving a random, unpredictable component.

Real world applications are many and varied, and allow the

making of informed decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Applications include testing of new drugs, drug testing in

sports, risk evaluations in health, DNA testing, and designing

and interpreting sample surveys such as TV and radio ratings.

Other applications include actuarial mathematics and financial

mathematics, where people deal with mathematical models

in finance, insurance and economics.

A statisticians job is always interesting, with nearly every project

involving a degree of innovation.

For more stories about research and teaching staff, visit monash.edu/science-stories

The information in this brochure was correct at the time of publication (July 2014).

Monash University reserves the right to alter this information should the need arise.

You should always check with the relevant Faculty office when considering a course.

CRICOS provider: Monash University 00008C

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