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Mathematics and the FBI

igmaniiiigmaniii Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited February 2009 in Other College Majors
I would like to join the FBI. I posted a question (see link)

Would a major in mathematics with a minor in psy and criminal jsutice be advisable in your opinions for a career in the FBI?
Post edited by igmaniii on

Replies to: Mathematics and the FBI

  • AuburnMathTutorAuburnMathTutor Registered User Posts: 1,770 Senior Member
    What would be better? Criminology / sociology?

    Math could be helpful for field agents. It'll give you an edge over colleagues when it comes to... ummm... like, deciding how far somebody could have gotten in a certain amount of time, like they do on TV. You know... "he can drive at 50 MPH, been gone for 5 hours, etc..." Could also help in setting up roadblocks... probability and that kind of stuff. You know, ... he wants to get from A to B, and there are 18 intersections he could travel through, which intersection is most likely to be crossed, etc...

    Game theory could be useful for interrogations... cutting deals the guy will take, you know. Logic - formal logic - could be used to find inconsistencies in testimony, etc. As a math major, you probably know some programming, too. You could model evacuation scenarios at high-risk locations to help prepare for terrorist attacks. Hell, you could even write a program that implements an expert system and some AI to do basic profiling automatically.

    You could talk intelligently about encryption schemes and break codes. You can find statistical irregularities in suspects' bank account records and finance records. You could probably also better understand the strengths and limitations of polygraphs.

    These are just some ideas I'm throwing around. You should decide for yourself whether these are plausible or not.
  • GilGil Registered User Posts: 293 Junior Member
    AuburnMathTutor, I'm sure you don't need a math major to be able to calculate how far away the bad guy could possibly be. You just need calculus for that.

    I don't think a math major will be directly applicable to the job. But the reasoning, problem solving, and logic skills you develop will be of immense help. A mathy person would think differently from the ruck of sociology/criminology majors, and that would make you an asset.
  • apumicapumic Registered User Posts: 1,529 Senior Member
    I'd actually contact the FBI recruiting office and find out what they're looking for instead of trying to make guesses here. Heck...there may actually be programs for people with potential to have their educations paid for BY the gov't if they're interested enough in you.
  • kindaslick89kindaslick89 Registered User Posts: 498 Member
    If you really want to improve your chances, get a masters in something and learn another language, preferably arabic or chinese, and you can get PAID.
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    The FBI is actively seeking students with degrees in accounting and mathematics for forensic accounting positions. Call the FBI directly to see whats required. This tip is from a friend of mine in the Department of Justice. Do your bit to help put guys like Bernie Madoff in jail.
  • ManOfFaithManOfFaith Registered User Posts: 363 Member
    Have you ever seen Numb3rs? It's about a mathematician who helps the FBI solve cases. Keep in mind that it's probably nothing like real life. I just thought it'd be a show you'd like.
  • Euler321Euler321 Registered User Posts: 597 Member
    The FBI might work for lots of different things. NSA, CIA, and DHS might be more up your ally. Learn how to program. You can to cryptography and tons of other badass stuff. The FBI might do some of that stuff too. If you want to specialize in interrogating people you might be better off with a graduate degree in psychology. I can't think of anything that would directly involve math.
This discussion has been closed.