Tuesday, August 2, 2016

How would you respond to this question if asked by a student in calculus 1?

Uh, what question?  The previous one?  The one about second thoughts about majoring in math?  I have talked to people who were in high school who were about to go to college.  I'm not sure if I specifically talked to them about math, but I told them, among other things, to make sure they had a clear idea of why they were going to college, and if it was because they wanted to prepare for a specific career, they should make sure they were going the right degree(s) for that field.  I've told people many times that I learned after I'd taken many math classes that you can hardly work as a mathematician without a PhD in math.  I've told many people that I've learned that a BA/BS in math is useless without another degree to go with it.

If someone in calculus 1 asked me if they should major in math, i would ask them if they want to be a teacher or get a PhD or be an actuary or do a double major.  I would tell them not to major in math otherwise.  I'm doing it now with the intention of also getting other qualifications at some point.

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