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Duke University

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Unweighted GPA:** 3.7**

1.0

4.0

SAT: **720 math**

200

800

| **800 verbal**

200

800

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

I'm really into math and want to pursue a degree in it. Can anyone tell me about the different types of math degrees available at colleges? Like, what's the difference between a pure math and an applied math degree? Thanks!

8 months ago

Certainly! Math degrees can generally be classified into two broad categories: pure mathematics and applied mathematics. I'll give you a brief overview of both, so you can understand the distinctions between them.

Pure mathematics, as the name suggests, is concerned with the study of abstract mathematical concepts and theories. This discipline is dedicated to exploring and investigating abstract mathematical structures, without direct concern for applications in the real world.

Common courses you would take as part of a pure mathematics degree might include Abstract Algebra, Real Analysis, Complex Analysis, Topology, and Number Theory. Pure math can be quite theoretical and usually offers a deep dive into the foundations of mathematics.

On the other hand, applied mathematics is the branch of mathematics that deals with using mathematical techniques and methodologies to address problems in various fields like engineering, physics, economics, computer science, and more. The key idea is that applied mathematics focuses on finding practical solutions to problems in other domains by employing mathematical tools.

An applied mathematics degree might include courses such as Differential Equations, Mathematical Modeling, Numerical Analysis, Probability & Statistics, and Optimization. Applied math tends to be more focused on real-world applications and solving practical issues.

Of course, there may be some overlap between these two categories, especially in the foundational coursework. Many colleges and universities offer distinct programs for pure and applied mathematics, allowing you to choose the path that matches your interests and goals better. Additionally, some schools allow students to customize their math majors by selecting courses from both categories based on personal preferences.

It's worth mentioning that if you're also interested in a specific field, like physics or computer science, you might consider pursuing a double major or a minor in combination with a math major. This will allow you to apply your mathematical skills to real-world problems in those domains and help you develop a well-rounded academic and professional profile.

I hope this helps you better understand the differences between pure math and applied math degrees. Good luck in your pursuit of a math degree!

8 months ago

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