Category Archives: careers in mathematics

Who wants to be a mathematician

I wish that there were official programmes like the following in India too:

http://www.ams.org/programs/students/wwtbam/wwtbam

The power of the unseen, the abstract: applications of mathematics

Applications of math are everywhere…anywhere we see, use, test/taste, touch, etc…

I have made a quick compilation of some such examples below:

  1. Crystallography
  2. Coding Theory (Error Correction) (the stuff like Hamming codes, parity check codes; used in 3G, 4G etc.) Used in data storage also. Bar codes, QR codes, etc.
  3. Medicine: MRI, cancer detection, Tomography,etc.
  4. Image processing: JPEG2000; Digital enhancement etc.
  5. Regulating traffic: use of probability theory and queuing theory
  6. Improving performance in sports
  7. Betting and bidding; including spectrum auction using John Nash’s game theory.
  8. Robotics
  9. Space Exploration
  10. Wireless communications including cellular telephony. (You can Google search this; for example, Fourier Series is used in Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Even some concepts of convergence of a series are necessary!) Actually, this is a digital communications systems and each component of this requires heavy use of mathematical machinery: as the information bearing signal is passed from source to sink, it under goes several steps one-by-one: like Source Coding, encryption (like AES, or RSA or ECC), Error Control Coding and Modulation/Transmission via physical channel. On the receiver or sink side, the “opposite” steps are carried out. This is generally taught in Electrical Engineering. You can Google search these things.
  11. DNA Analysis
  12. Exploring oceans (example, with unmanned underwater vehicles)
  13. Packing (physical and electronic)
  14. Aircraft designing
  15. Pattern identification
  16. Weather forecasting.
  17. GPS also uses math. It uses physics also. Perhaps, just to satisfy your curiosity, GPS uses special relativity.
  18. Computer Networks: of course, they use Queuing theory. Long back, the TCP/IP slow start algorithm was designed and developed by van Jacobson.(You can Google search all this — but the stuff is arcande right now due to your current education level.)
  19. Architecture, of course, uses geometry. For example, Golden ratio.
  20. Analyzing fluid flows.
  21. Designing contact lenses for the eyes. Including coloured contact lenses to enhance beauty or for fashion.
  22. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Intelligence.
  23. Internet Security.
  24. Astronomy, of course. Who can ever forget this? Get yourself a nice telescope and get hooked. You can also Stellarium.org freeware to learn to identify stars and planets, and constellations.
  25. Analyzing chaos and fractals: the classic movie “Jurassic Park” was based on fractal geometry. The dino’s were, of course, simulations!
  26. Forensics
  27. Combinatorial optimization; the travelling salesman problem.
  28. Computational Biology

We will try to look at bit deeper into these applications in later blogs. And, yes, before I forget “Ramanujan’s algorithm to compute \pi up to a million digits is used to test the efficacy and efficiency of supercomputers. Of course, there will be other testing procedures also, for testing supercomputers.

There will be several more. Kindly share your views.

-Nalin Pithwa.

Use of mathematics by a financial analyst

“maths: make your career count”

AMSI (Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute) and ICE-EM have done a commendable job …to motivate all high students interested in various careers to excel in maths also:

Have a look at the following, for example:

http://mathscareers.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19&Itemid=19

Cheers to maths!

Nalin Pithwa.

Movie Magic: The Mathematics Behind Hollywood’s Visual Effects

Distinguished Lecture Series: The Mathematical Association of America

Education gives strength: Anand Kumar tells Maoist youngsters

I reproduce this highly inspirational news from The DNA, Mumbai, Thursday, February 23, 2017: 

Raipur: Super 30 founder Anand Kumar has exhorted the youth in Maoist areas to shun the gun and embrace pen to script a new tale of peace and prosperity through real empowerment which, he believes, only education can ensure.

Kumar was addressing students at the education city in Jawanga village of Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Dantewada district at a programme on Tuesday.

State Chief Minister Raman Singh and Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Subhash Chandra were also present on the occasion.

Stressing that education was the only way to bridge the gap in the society, Kumar said, “Education can lend you strength in the real sense. It can bring about generational change.”

Technology should also be increasingly used to make quality education accessible to all, which is another prerequisite for an egalitarian society and tackling poverty effectively said Kumar, who runs a residential and free-of-cost “Super 30” programme for the last 15 years for talented students from the underprivileged sections.

Narrating his “Super 30” experience, he  gave examples of students from the most underprivileged sections and how they reached the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) through their hard work.

“All the problems in the world originate basically because of four-five reasons, like illiteracy, ignorance, poverty, lack of opportunities, unemployment, mindless violence etc. And, if we look at them closely, all have their genesis in lack of education. It is the lack of education that breeds inferiority complex and later manifests itself in different ways,” Kumar said.

Chief Minister asked the students to set a goal in their life and work hard with honesty to achieve it.

“Bastar is changing rapidly. The students (of education city) will play a key role in the development of Bastar. The day when maximum students of Bastar will sit on higher administration posts, that day will be memorable for me,” he said.

“With the efforts of the government, several children of Bastar have qualified for IIT, engineering and medical colleges. These children are not only future of Chattisgarh but the country too,” he said.

The Chief Minister also released Halbi-Gondi-English dictionary for students. –PTI.

Hats off to Mr. Anand Kumar and his “Super 30”!

From Nalin Pithwa

Are kids no longer learning multiplication tables in school?

This topic is very close to my heart and head. I had written a remark about this in an earlier blog article. 

Today, I suddenly found some “echoes” or “resemblances” to my views. Kindly let me re-blog, or share the opinions about this from today’s EETimes, authored by Max Maxfield, Designline Editor. The URL is pasted below:

http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=216&doc_id=1331382&

Thanks Max and EETimes !

From Nalin Pithwa.

Francis Su, Retiring President of MAA, “Mathematics for human flourishing”

Women in mathematics; careers in mathematics

The first use of the first computer ENIAC was for computing trajectories of artillery shells; John von Neumann had proposed the first programmable computer ENIAC and then the MANIAC. Somewhat connected is the story below in today’s newspaper, The New York Times (and even now a career opportunity in math):

 

Applications of mathematics in sports — careers in mathematics

In India, as is well-known, the most popular out-door sport is cricket. There are various statistics associated with cricket, as with any other sport. Especially, in cricket, we find the following parameters discussed about in every match:

  • General statistics (matches, catches, stumpings)
  • Batting statistics (innings, Not Outs, runs, highest score, batting average, centuries, half-centuries, balls faced, strike rate, run rate, Net run rate).
  • Bowling Statistics: Overs. Bowls, Maiden Overs, Runs, Bowling Analysis, Wickets, No balls, Wides, Bowling Averages, Strike Rate, Economy Rate, Best Bowling In Innings, Best Bowling in Match, Five Wickets in an Inning, Ten Wickets in a match,
  • Dynamic and graphical statistics: The advent of saturation television coverage of professional cricket has provided an impetus to develop new and interesting forms of presenting statistical data to viewers. Television networks have thus invented several new ways of presenting statistics.
  • The T-20’s and ODI’s might have different statistics because their purposes are different. The county matches have a yet different purpose.

There are numerous books that deal with the applications of mathematics in sports. Three very good ones are:

  • de Mestre, N (1990): The Mathematics of Projectiles in Sport. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hart, D. and T. Croft (1988). Modelling with Projectiles, Chicester, UK: Ellis Horwood.
  • Townend, M. S (1984), Mathematics in Sport, Chicester, UK: Ellis Horwood.

More later,

Nalin Pithwa

Eight great reasons to do mathematics

A nice informative and inspirational article from a prominent applied mathematician, Chris Budd .

https://plus.maths.org/content/great-eight

Thanks Prof Budd. I take this opportunity to share your views with my motivated, talented maths students !

From,

Nalin Pithwa