2 answers

How can I combine chemistry and linguistics?

Asked Boston, Massachusetts

I am double-majoring in chemistry and linguistics. Both seem equally fascinating to me, and I would not want to give up one. I am wondering though, what jobs could I pursue with that combination? #chemistry #college #doublemajor #linguistics #stem # #research

2 answers

Dhairya’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

Interesting combination. Irrespective of job opportunities, you definitely pursue both majors. You never know where those skills will take you. I also double majored in two disparate areas: creative writing and an interdisciplinary major that combined politics, philosophy and economics. I do AI research now focusing on natural language problems.

If you haven't already, talk to professors in both departments and see if they have any interesting on interesting research that combines both fields.

Also this is not quite chemistry, but there is interesting work at the intersection of linguistics and genetics. A common problem in genetic research is finding longest recurring substrings in a gene expression. The EdX class I linked below walk through the some of the data science challenges in that space. So there is some interesting research around seeing there is an underlying grammar to genetics that can be used to both parse and predict new sequences to solve a wide variety of challenges in the genetic research. This is a space that is outside my realm of expertise but I included a few resources in the next steps section that might be intriguing. Good luck!

Dhairya recommends the following next steps:

  • https://evolutionnews.org/2016/06/is_genome_gramm/
  • https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-genomic-data-science-uc-san-diegox-cse181-1x
  • https://genie.weizmann.ac.il/pubs/2014_shira.pdf
  • https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Grammatical-model-of-the-regulation-of-gene-Collado-Vides/1ff851d74527a5b026eacca59195e691eecb57ea

Alexandra’s Answer


hi Tomiris,

impressive combination.

obviously I do not know you, but from the combination of subjects you have been studying and the fact you seem to enjoy it, it looks like you have certain traits and skills that could be very valued in big multinational companies. Not sure if you are studying syntax or other structural items of the linguistics or you are actually studying foreign languages, but one or another, you must be quite analytical in your thinking. You could have the sense for analyzing data and then synthesizing them back which is perfect for planning, forecasting and decision making. Does not necessarily need to stick with chemistry as such, but could be used in other areas where these skills are needed.

think about what would make you comfortable at work.

think about what soft skills you have.

think about where you want to get to in a few years time.

then you will certainly find the correct field where you will use both the subjects you study.

Wishing you all the best of luck!