# Is it a bad idea to do a math major?

DreamsOfElectricSheep
8 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member

Hello, so I'm about at the end of my associate's degree at a state college in physics and I'm not doing too hot with the whole physics program. I'm supposed to transfer to a university once I finish but I don't think a physics major is a good fit for me (long story short, my professor all but told me I'm not smart enough for it).

I've finished Calc 1-3 now and I've enjoyed every math class so far but I'm thinking as I haven't done that much math I might be naive in assuming a math major is a good fit for me. For that reason I was hoping to get some advice as to what the major is like and if I'm making a silly conclusion thinking math is a good major.

Any advice is appreciated, thanks.

19 replies I've finished Calc 1-3 now and I've enjoyed every math class so far but I'm thinking as I haven't done that much math I might be naive in assuming a math major is a good fit for me. For that reason I was hoping to get some advice as to what the major is like and if I'm making a silly conclusion thinking math is a good major.

Any advice is appreciated, thanks.

## Replies to: Is it a bad idea to do a math major?

Math or applied math sometimes go into finance, actuarial, operations research, or high school math teacher jobs. A related major is statistics.

Are your physics performance issues in any way rooted in your calculus or higher mathematics ability?

Tells us about your instruction. Graduate assistants? Native English speakers? Class sizes?

At Berkeley, for example - the prereqs are: one year of Calc, Linear Algebra, a CS Data Structures class (offered at most CCs), and the first class for CS majors and the first class for DS majors. It's a combination between CS, Applied Math, Stats, and whatever domain you choose, whether it be Computational Biology or Urban Planning or Econometrics or something else.

Like others have pointed out, applied math and data science are very valuable. Generally, not a lot of Bachelor’s options for those, so if interested, may need to get bachelor’s in math and masters in applied math or data science.

What was it specifically that initially led you to seek a degree in physics?

Was there an actual job track that you were pursuing? An industry? A particular company?

Unless you're an autodidact or a savant the ease of comprehending Newtonian and quantum physics is directly proportional to the quality of the instruction.

My daughter, like you, enjoyed calculus. She found her upper level math classes more challenging (as expected - that’s why they are upper level). They were proof heavy and more abstract than calculus. She liked them but it didn’t come as easily.

It sounds like you are off to a good start. Good luck!

Eh, silliness when I applied I wanted to be a physicist type of deal. Watched too many science specials and I enjoyed math so I thought it was a good fit.

The instruction was not great in my opinion though I could very well be biased since I struggled. A lot of guys I talked with said they had a really hard time and the professor mostly just read from the book when teaching.

What's your dream job?

Oh man, you're going for the hard questions here haha.

I'm not sure really, I've been interested in medicine for a while but not sure if I could handle what I've seen premeds go through (not even to mention med school).

Rocket surgery?

doesn'tmean you won't do well in math. If you like math, you can major in math, applied math, or a number of other math-heavy majors such as CS, econ/econometrics, etc.Aren't the "very top physicists" usually mathematicians rather than experimentalists nowadays? That how Stephen Hawking thought of himself.

And the gap between top mathematicians and very good mathematicians is just as large if not larger than in physics. Read about Ramanujan for example and how outclassed Hardy felt by him.