Mathematicians apply and develop mathematical principles
to solve problems in all areas of the sciences, technology, social sciences,
business, industry and commerce.
They apply mathematical
theories, algorithms and computational techniques to a wide range of
problems and fields of inquiry, including design, finance, industrial
production and manufacturing, environment, security, transport and
logistics, urban and regional planning, astronomy,
cartography, medicine and defence. Mathematicians may also teach mathematics
at tertiary level.
Specialisations:
Applied Mathematician
An applied mathematician formulates and studies mathematical models of
environmental, physical and social systems in order to understand and, where
possible, optimise those systems.
Mathematical Analyst
A mathematical analyst analyses data and assesses risks within the finance
and insurance industries, as well as market research, biosecurity and
genetics.
Mathematical Modeller
A mathematical modeller constructs mathematical models (often via computer
technology) to simulate real phenomena across a wide range of applications,
including meteorology, geography and finance.
Pure Mathematician
A pure mathematician develops new mathematical structures and new approaches
to solving existing problems, in order to further mathematical knowledge.
Scientific Programmer
A scientific programmer develops algorithms and computer programs for use in
mathematical modelling, data analysis and problemsolving in fields such as
industrial design, climate science and geoscience.
Knowledge, skills and attributes
Duties and Tasks
Mathematicians may perform the following tasks:

apply geometry and calculus to design objects in
fields such as architecture, computer graphics and robotics

analyse statistics to find predictive models for
traffic flow, insurance risks, consumer research, market analysis and
clinical trials

develop predictive models for financial markets and
products for financial risk management

simulate processes in chemical, mining or agricultural
industries by translating them into mathematical models

develop computer modelling for industrial design

develop and improve mathematical models to describe
natural phenomena such as soil erosion, the weather and climate, ocean
currents or biological behaviour

develop computer programs for use in mathematical
modelling and problemsolving

design computer programs to make and break complex
security codes, or investigate and develop schemes for information
security

carry out network analysis for the study of road
systems, airline routes, transport and communication systems

use linear programming for urban, regional and
transport planning

engage in image and signal processing for astronomy,
cartography and medical and radar imaging

analyse problems for the service, engineering or
manufacturing sectors

develop communications technology and information
theory

develop new mathematical structures, ranging across
the areas of pure and applied mathematics, statistics, computing,
operations research, commerce and industry

Formulates mathematical models to simulate processes.

Applies models to experimental observations, and
adjusts and recasts the models.

Uses numerical analysis methods to develop algorithms
and perform computations.

Liaises with management and clients to determine the
subject or area to be surveyed or examined.

Specifies the data to be collected, and the
methodology to be used in collection and analysis.

Evaluates and describes the reliability and utility of
source information.

Analyses and interprets data, and produces relevant
statistics to describe and infer particular trends and patterns.

teach mathematics at school, VET and university level
in Australia or overseas.
Working conditions
Mathematicians usually work in office environments, often in universities or
other research organisations. They often work in conjunction with
economists, engineers, computer scientists, physicists and other
technicians. Mathematicians usually work regular hours, although they may be
required to work longer hours when working to deadlines or when they have
been requested for special information or analysis. Some mathematicians work
in academia and therefore have a mix of teaching and research
responsibilities. They may be required to travel for conferences or to
deliver presentations.
Tools and technologies
Mathematicians spend a large amount of their work time on computers, using a
wide variety of software including analytical or scientific software,
graphical or photo imaging software, as well as object or component oriented
development software and word processing software. They may also use
whiteboards, calculators, notebook computers and other office equipment such
as phones, photocopiers and fax machines.
Education and training/entrance requirements
To become a mathematician you usually need to study a degree in mathematics.
Most universities in Australia offer relevant courses.
Mathematicians who wish to undertake research in a university setting
usually need to undertake postgraduate study.
Did You Know?
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321!


