Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Math in the Media: Hot vs. Not

Hey all,

After a long stretch, I will be back to blogging.  Sorry for the gap in communication.  So many things get in the way of so many things.....

Interesting data?  There are measures of IQ verses academic discipline, and there are measures of the the "hotness" value of an academic discipline (this one must stay on a relative scale, as most academic disciplines, as careers, are not really considered "hot" (compare an economist against a rock star at a cocktail party, for example.  Now compare the economist to the philosopher....))

But here is a way to compare IQ verses hotness for various academic disciplines.  A psychology-based blog entitled The Hardest Science, displays a way to "see" how the two measures of a discipline compare.  Silly, yes....  But interesting.

Math rocks in the IQ scale, not so much for hotness.  But together, they do say something....

The hotness-IQ tradeoff in academia



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mathematicians views of mathematics...

Besides the strange look one gets at cocktail parties when one answers the question,  "So what do you do?" I often find myself trying to explain my view of mathematics and why I chose to make a life of it. 

Here is a brief sketch:  a few mathematicians' pictures and some audio clips about why they devote their life to the study.  It is a beautiful glimpse into our world. 


Please give it a turn....  You will not be disappointed.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Best Job out there? - Yes, its Mathematician!

So what is the best job in the US these days?

The Wall Street Journal reported on a ranking of professions from the site  They released a study this week that evaluates 200 professions to determine the best and worst according to five criteria inherent to every job: environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress.

Bottom of the list:  Lumberjack, dairy farmer and taxi driver.

Top of the list:  Mathematician (and actuary and statistician, to round out the top three) with a median annual income of over $94000, low stress, and VERY CREATIVE work (okay, the last bit is an editorial opinion.  But one of the people highlighted in the article does have very interesting projects to work on....  jussayn'.)

Give the article a read.  See where your dream job lies:

Doing the Math to Find the Good Jobs

 Personally, I agree with the top ranking.  It is a good gig!

Most Valuable College Majors? Think MATH!!

Forbes, the American magazine of all things business, has just published a listing of the top 15 most valuable college majors.  The listing comes from the PayScale's massive compensation database and job growth projections through 2020 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Majors are ranked in terms of salary and career prospects. Indeed, rankings are by median starting pay, median mid-career pay (at least 10 years experience), percentage growth in pay and projected growth of job opportunities.  See  here:
15 Most Valuable College Majors 
And lo and behold?  Check out number's 10 and 11, respectively Applied Mathematics and Mathematics. Median starting salaries fresh out of college are $52,600 and $47,000, and mid-career $89,900 and $96,000, again both respectively.

Of course, at least from my perspective, Biomedical Engineering tops the list, as do a few other engineering fields.

But can you imagine the market value of an engineering or natural science degree AND a math degree? The sky's the limit, no?

Talk to me if interested....

Monday, January 7, 2013

Math in the Media - A matter of motivation, not IQ?

I am and have always been convinced that ANYONE can do mathematics if they have the proper motivation, interest, and access to good mentors and training material, at least to the levels found up to and including the first year in college.  I believe that ineffective education and cultural and societal biases are reasons why mathematics education has a mystique about is as something less than the primer coat of all higher level thinking.

So articles on studies like that mentioned here in a Scientific American article
Like Math?  Thank Your Motivation, Not IQ
by Tia Ghose and Live Science, are quite refreshing to read.   

To me, the findings are not surprising.  It just seems perfectly natural that a person's motivation to learn a skill is extremely important to their ability to master it.  More important than intelligence?  Ahhh....  Read the article.