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What does a mathematician do?

You may have heard of famous mathematicians like Pythagoras, Hypatia or Girolamo Cardano. But if you’re wondering 'what is a mathematician?', you’re in the right place. Firstly, it's important to understand that there are two types of mathematicians – theoretical and applied. A theoretical mathematician expands our knowledge by developing new principles, their work is based in theory rather than practical use but has been known to play a key role in engineering and scientific accomplishments. Theoretical mathematicians are typically employed by universities as professors and to conduct research. Applied mathematicians, on the other hand, use mathematical modelling and computational analysis to solve real-world problems. They might be employed in the areas of business, engineering, government or other industries.

Is a career as a mathematician right for me?

If you like problem-solving and mathematical thinking you might enjoy a career in maths. Other skills and attributes beneficial for this role include:

  • strong attention to detail 
  • a proficiency with data analysis
  • the ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • high-level research skills 
  • the ability to practically apply findings to situations. 

How to become a mathematician

Every journey to study is individual and there are several paths to reaching your career goals. At UniSQ, we offer the following degrees in the area of mathematics and statistics:
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Last updated May 2024.

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