When you
think of a mathematician, you may imagine a gray-haired man standing in
front of a chalkboard covered end to end with formulas. In fact,
mathematicians come in all shapes and sizes. And they work with the
latest computer technologies in fields as varied as business and
physics.

There are two main groups of mathematicians. Theoretical
mathematicians come up with new ways of thinking about quantities -- you
can thank them for adding to the formulas and principles you learn in
math class. Applied mathematicians, on the other hand, use math to solve
practical problems in fields like computer science. The line that
divides these two groups, however, often blurs.

Mathematicians
use mathematical theory, algorithms, and computers to solve problems in
economics, science, engineering, and other fields.

“I
loved math because of the clarity of it. With math, there are no
arguments, no discussions; you have a proof or an answer or you don't.” Jim, Mathematician, National Security Agency

### Are You Ready To...?

- Communicate complicated math ideas to those not well-versed in math
- Work with cutting-edge computer technology to deal with complex mathematical issues
- Work on an interdisciplinary team that may include engineers, computer scientists, economists, and physicists
- Meet deadlines, working overtime when needed
- Travel to conferences and seminars

### It Helps To Be...

An
abstract thinker who loves seeking answers as much as finding them. If
you like logic, playing with numbers, and using computers, then
mathematics might be the field for you.

### Make High School Count

- Take advanced math and science classes, like AP
^{®} Calculus and Physics.
- Get comfortable with computers. You’ll spend a lot of time using them to analyze data.
- Explore subjects, such as economics and business, that rely on math.
- Take part in the International Math Olympics.

### Did You Know?

Mathematicians work for universities, government agencies, and businesses.