Mathematician

Research and Development

 

Scientific or AnalyticClerical & OrganisingSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

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, FutureGrowthModerate 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 problem-solving in fields such as industrial design, climate science and geoscience.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • imagination

  • enjoy mathematics

  • analytical skills

  • initiative

  • perseverance

  • able to work independently or as part of a team

  • enjoy problem-solving.



Duties and Tasks

Mathematicians may perform the following tasks:Mathematician

  • 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 problem-solving

  • 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!

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Mathematician

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