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The Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) will give you the skills to join a wide variety of industries.
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From securing sensitive communications using cryptography to calculating the geostationary orbit of a satellite - mathematics is a product of human ingenuity that allows our modern world to exist. It is fundamental to our lives.
Our strength in applied mathematics means you’ll get to combine your learning with other science disciplines to gain extensive experience in a range of applications. You’ll use your knowledge to solve problems in the areas like computer programming, climate modelling and transportation.
You will have access to some of the world’s top mathematical minds. You will graduate well-grounded in the basic mathematic principles, but you’ll also be stimulated by your exposure to the latest research and discoveries.
Our mathematics programme is taught by leading researchers encompassing the modelling of geothermal processes, cell growth, dynamical systems, scientific computing, combinatorics, topology, epidemiology, celestial mechanics, neuroscience, industrial mathematics, number theory, geometry and analysis. This versatility demonstrates the variety of job areas available to mathematically-skilled scientists.
The task of the mathematician is to find ways to collect appropriate data for analysis and problem-solving. Mathematics draws much of its following and strength from its ability to solve problems in a wide variety of areas, such as the sciences, engineering, commerce and industry. These are all areas of expertise at Massey. As part of your study you will learn the ability to communicate and explain concepts effectively with non-mathematical colleagues. This is also a crucial skill, with many careers taking you into a team environment.
The BSc (Mathematics) will help you build up a wide variety of skills and techniques you will need to be part of projects like these, especially in calculus and algebra. You need to be able to formulate, solve, restate, and resolve problems and interpret results. Most students achieve a mix of application courses and courses that explore mathematics.
It is also increasingly important to complement your analytical skills with some knowledge of computational and simulation techniques on computers. We suggest supporting minor subjects including physics, computer science, finance or statistics.
Massey University’s programme is ranked in the top 250 university mathematics programmes in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings.
A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.
Some of the topics taught in mathematics courses include:
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“I love detail and complexity. I love pulling apart systems and the underlying logic to see what really makes them tick. I find it absolutely exciting to develop models which emulate real-world behaviours…”
BHP Billion mines and ships iron ore around the globe. Their products are defined by the percentages of Fe, and other impurities.
“Don’t be fooled by the chemical elements,” says Jay, “my role is 99% maths!”
In his work, Jay develops simulation models to forecast, quantify, and inform his company on chemical analyte levels (Fe, P, SiO2, Al2O3, etc) in their shipping products. The simulation models he develops are generally characterised by two things: complex system dynamics (they’re made up of many sub-systems that can operate autonomously, but the system as a whole is interdependent) and being highly stochastic (e.g. analyte levels of ore as it’s being mined isn’t constant, they need to be represented by random distributions).
Understanding and quantifying these characteristics require mathematical techniques (mathematical modelling, numerical methods, and statistics from a numerical experimentation point of view).
“I work alongside chemists and metallurgists but mathematics is what really brings all these disciplines together to allow the business to understand and quantify the system-wide impacts of the decisions they make.”
Jay’s first job after university was working for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in Wellington, developing simulations to help predict future operational requirements and any deficiencies that would likely occur in their trade and rank structures. He then moved to Australia and did some work for the Vice Chief of Defence Force (VCDF) Preparedness Group, again in military simulations. Later he moved to the mining industry with BHP Billiton in Perth.
“What’s surprising is that although the military and mining industries are vastly different many of the mathematical modelling and simulation approaches needed to solve business problems are the same.”
Mathematicians work in a wide range of professional careers including food, finance, manufacturing, and technology.
Mathematicians work in industry for manufacturers, insurance companies, finance companies (Wall Street hires mathematicians), banks, market research companies, and as public and private consultants.
Most government departments recruit graduates of mathematics at the bachelor level for general staff, or at honours level for their research sections. Large industries and Crown Research Institutes recruit mathematics graduates with a special interest in applications. The increasing demand for research in the mathematical sciences provides an opportunity for those who enjoy mathematics at an advanced level.
Many mathematicians with advanced degrees seek university teaching positions, but there are also many other exciting and fulfilling positions available with an undergraduate degree in mathematics.
New Zealand organisations which have hired mathematicians in recent years include:
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