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What does a mathematician actually do?

I am interested in studying mathematics in college and would like to know what a mathematician actually does. What would they do if they worked for a bank? Or a marketing/advertising business? #mathematician

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Richie’s Answer

I was a math major in college and graduate school. I became a computer programmer, because I found that I loved writing software. However, in all my jobs mathematics was used often.

When I worked in various financial companies, where there were groups of mathematicians doing financial modelling. This involves designing mathematical formulas that can be used for predicting values of financial instruments. Because some the these are quite complex computers are used to perform the actual calculations.

At Google we use something called "machine learning". This is using advanced mathematics (calculus, statistics) to get computers to smart things. For example, machine learning systems are used in building the self-driving car, or in language translation.

Hope this helps, let me know if I can answer any more question.

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Robyn’s Answer


I work with math in the marketing/advertising business. What I do is data analysis and analytics to help advise strategy. For example, how do you know what the right mix of TV and online advertising is? How much should you be willing to pay? What will volume look like in the future?

There are tons of things you can do with a background in math; I enjoy this because I feel like it's also very people-focused.

Thank you very much. I appreciate your response. Nicholas G.