Careers in Mathematics
College graduates with a bachelor's degree in mathematics have the foundation for a broad range of positions in business, industry, government and education. Companies in the computer and communications industries employ many mathematicians, as do oil companies, banks, insurance companies, and consulting firms. Almost every bureau and branch of the federal government - including the Department of Health and Human Services, the General Accounting Office, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Security Agency - employ mathematicians in various capacities.
Many graduating seniors are looking for answers to the question "What can I do with a math degree?" To see what others have done, visit the Mathematical Sciences Career Information Web site at www.ams.org/careers. The Mathematical Association of America offers profiles of individual careers at www.maa.org/careers/index.html. The American Statistical Association offers a guide to careers in statistics at www.amstat.org/education/careers.html. And the Web site BeAnActuary.org can get you started in the field of actuarial science. Most of the professionals profiled on these sites use mathematics on a daily basis, but many others rely on the general problem solving skills acquired in their mathematics courses.
Women interested in pursuing a career in mathematics will want to know more about the Association for Women in Mathematics at www.awm-math.org. To find biographies of women mathematicians and information about prizes, awards, and honors, visit the Web site sponsored by Agnes Scott College of Atlanta (www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/women.htm). The Association for Women in mathematics also posts career resources at www.awm-math.org/career.html.
To Help You On Your Way
This web page introduces you to just some of the resources available from the AMS and many other organizations that support undergraduate and graduate students and mathematics professionals. Visit the library, talk with the mathematics department faculty, or contact the organizations listed in this brochure directly to find out more about publications, internships, careers and funding.
Resources For Undergraduates in Mathematics
Scholarships and Fellowships
Undergraduates in mathematics who are considering graduate school will find information on math departments and funding in Assistantships and Graduate Fellowships in the Mathematical Sciences, an annual publication of the AMS (available at the AMS Bookstore). The National Science Foundation (www.ehr.nsf.gov/ehr/dge/) is among the organizations that offer graduate-level fellowships including programs to support women and minority students pursuing advanced degrees in mathematics and the sciences.
Research Experience for
Each summer the National Science Foundation sponsors approximately 20 intensive mathematics programs held at universities around the country. Undergraduates work closely with a faculty member to experience graduate research firsthand (www.nsf.gov/mps/dms/reulist.htm). Also, George Washington University, and Carleton College and St. Olaf College host summer programs for undergraduate women in mathematics. See www.gwu.edu/~math/spwm.html and www.mathcs.carleton.edu/smp. For a comprehensive list of REU programs,visit the AMS website at www.ams.org/employment/reu.html.
Two undergraduates report on their experiences in such programs in "A Research Experience for Undergraduates", by Shelly Harvey and Andrea Ritter, in the February 1998 issue of the Notices of the AMS (online at www.ams.org/notices/).
Prizes and Grants
Undergraduate students may be nominated for the annual AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student: the prize is $1000 (www.ams.org/ams/prizes.html#morg). The Association for Women in Mathematics also awards the Alice. T. Schafer Prize each year. Read about this prize and about the winner and other undergraduate women who were recognized for excellence in mathematics at www.awm-math.org/schaferprize/2000.html. Also, each year the AMS designates four AMS institutional members to receive funds from the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Fund: the schools award funds to help support math majors who need financial aid.
The National Security Agency offers several types of Employment Programs for College Students ( www.nsa.gov:8080/programs/employ/).
The William Lowell Putnam
Each year in the Putnam Competition, undergraduate mathematics students across the nation struggle with challenging math problems during a six-hour examination. The top five scorers in the competition each receive a $2500 prize and the distinction of having done well on one of the nation's most difficult and prestigious mathematics competitions. There are also monetary prizes for runners-up and for the winning teams. Read about the 1999 winners in the Mathematics People column of the February 2000 issue of the Notices of the AMS (www.ams.org/notices/200002/people.pdf). You can also learn more about the competition from your math department, or at the MAA web site.
Pi Mu Epsilon
Pi Mu Epsilon is an honorary national mathematics society. Members in 276 chapters are chosen on the basis of scholarship. (www.wpi.edu/~pme/main.html). Read about winners of the annual Pi Mu Epsilon Prize in the January 2000 issue of the Notices of the AMS ( www.ams.org/notices/200001/people.pdf).
Notices of the American Mathematical
This AMS journal is published 11 times per year in print and online (www.ams.org/notices/). Some of the articles and book reviews of interest include: "Smoothing the Transition to Graduate Education", by Sylvia T. Bozeman and Rhonda J. Hughes (3/99); "Mathematical Treasures of the Smithsonian Institution", by Allyn Jackson (5/99); "Mathematics Genealogy Project" (9/99), "Cryptonomicon" (book review, 12/99).
The AMS Website
The AMS's searchable Web site serves AMS members and the mathematical community worldwide by providing a wealth of information on careers, science and education policy, publications, what's new in math and more.
Contact these Organizations for More
American Mathematical Society (AMS): P.O. Box 6248, Providence, RI 02940-6248; tel 800-321-4267 or 401-455-4000; fax 401-331-3842; email firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site www.ams.org
American Statistical Association (ASA): 1429 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314-3415, USA: tel 703-684-1221 (toll-free 888-231-3473); fax 703-684-2037; email email@example.com; Web site www.amstat.org
Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM): 4114 Computer & Space Sciences Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2461; tel 301-405-7892; email firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site www.awm-math.org/
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS): 901 Elkridge Landing Road, Suite 400, Linthicum, MD 21090-2909; tel 800-4IN-FORMS, email email@example.com; Web site www.informs.org/
Mathematical Association of America (MAA): P.O. Box 91112, Washington, DC 20090-1112; tel 800-331-1622 or 301-617-7800; fax 301-206-9789; email firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site www.maa.org/
National Association of Mathematicians (NAM): Box 959, Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC 27909; tel 919-335-3326; fax 919-335-3487 or 919-335-3651, email email@example.com; Web sites jewel.morgan.edu/~nam/ or www.caam.rice.edu/~nated/orgs/nam/index.html
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM): 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-9988; tel 703-476-2970; email firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site www.nctm.org
Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS): P.O. Box 8526, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-8526; tel 831-459-01700; fax 831-459-0194; email email@example.com; Web site www.sacnas.org
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM): 3600 University City Science Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2688; tel 215-382-9800; email firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site www.siam.org
Society of Actuaries (SOA): 475 North Martingale Road, Suite 800, Schaumberg, IL 60173-2226; tel 847-706-3500; Web site www.soa.org
The web site URL addresses are accurate at the time of this writing. If you are unable to locate any subsidiary Web address, try the organization's main Web site for more information.
Questions about mathematical careers can be sent to the AMS at: email@example.com.
This web page is available in brochure form free of charge by contacting
Mathematical Society at 800-321-4267, ext. 4107, or write to
© Copyright 2000, American Mathematical Society.