What will you have in common while planning a tour, dinner or even shopping? You have guessed it right: Maths. Having some sort of number sense is something innate to us. But to solve quadratic equations and sophisticated number patterns, one must have academic training in Mathematics. Solving mathematical puzzles, experiencing the thrill of new discovery drew Soumya Das close to subject. Today Soumya Das teaches Maths at IISc, Bangalore.
Similar is the case of Aviral Mishra, Senior Business Analyst at Tata Consultancy Services, Pune. “The logic and mystery of Mathematics is so fascinating,” says Aviral who did BSc (Hons) Mathematics from Motilal Nehru College, Delhi University and later MSc in Industrial Mathematics & Informatics from IIT Roorkee that placed him at TCS. “I use my skill on data management and numerical computer application at work,” says Aviral.
Swaraj Sridhar Pande is attached to the intellectual rigor of mathematics. “We get to figure out lot of things on our own while proving theorem and solving problems,” says Swaraj doing B. Math (Hons) at Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Bangalore.
Number everywhere
“In a developing country like India where economic advancements are taking place, the future of Mathematics is very bright,” says Dr. R. C Mittal from Department of Mathematics, IIT Roorkee. With growing emphasis on technology, big data and economic efficiency in most organizations, the demand for Maths experts are ever on the rise. “Mathematics is everywhere. In the digital world, every information be it voice, picture or video is converted into a number, essentially a sequence of 0’s and 1’s and then stored, communicated, or edited and manipulated in several different ways,” shares Dr. B V Rajarama Bhat, Head, Statistics & Mathematics Unit, ISI, Bangalore.
To mention a few specific areas, the GPS on your mobile depends on computations of geometric coordinates with real numbers which is a mathematical creation. Similarly, bodily scan use sophisticated mathematics to get a three dimensional image of body parts. All credit cards and bank transactions are made secure using advanced coding theory. Dr. Bhat adds, “It is tough to imagine any modern technology where mathematics is not used.” Mathematician Amit Jayant Deshpande uses his skills for technological solutions at Microsoft Research India. Application of linear algebra and probability theory come in handy at his workplace.
Amit Jayant Deshpande Researcher Microsoft Research India, Bangalore
My work on randomized algorithms for large matrices uses linear algebra and probability theory. The result provides ideas for big data analytics of the future. |
Entering the field
Most of the Indian universities offer courses in mathematics. The nomenclature of each course differs from institute to institute with minor difference in the structure. The popular courses are B.Math, BSc (Hons) Mathematics, MSc Mathematics & Computing and Integrated MSc in Mathematics.
After class 12, science or commerce stream student can apply for three-year B.Math. Some institutes select through merit and others on the basis of entrance test. “We try to gauge whether a student is able to think independently, logically and is motivated to do Mathematics,” says Dr. Bhat. At IIT Roorkee, students are selected on the basis of national test (JEE) for 5-year integrated MSc programme in Applied Mathematics; JAM for 2-year MSc in Maths and GATE plus NET (JRF) for research programme.
Some of the prominent institutes are ISI Bangalore, CMI, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Presidency University and Shiv Nadar University.
Fast Facts
Programmes: B.Maths, BA/BSc (Hons) Mathematics; MA/MSc Mathematics
Job profiles: Researcher, Financial/Risk analyst, Statistician, Professor, Teacher
Best institutes: ISI Bangalore, Chennai Mathematical Institute, IIT Roorkee, Delhi University
Recruiter: ISRO, DRDO, Microsoft, Google, ISI, Research institutes; Colleges and Schools
Advantages
Kannappan Sampath, who is doing PhD in Maths at the University of Michigan, US reminisces about B.Maths course at ISI Bangalore. “The course gears students to conduct research in the modern arena of mathematics,” says Sampath. The broad range of topics covers calculus, algebra, topology, probability theory, statistics, mathematical physics, differential geometry, algebraic geometry to number theory.
Research frontier
Students who want to go deeper into the subject opt for research. “Most of today’s research in mathematics is computer-based where methods and algorithms are developed to solve real life problems,” informs Dr. Mittal. Currently the popular research areas are cryptography, numerical simulations, optimization and financial mathematics. Number theory is one area where a little work is done in India. Today’s research is interdisciplinary in nature, contributing to solving problems of bioscience, ecology and industry.
A number of scholarships are on offer, especially at doctoral level. The Department of Science and Technology offers the Ramanujan Fellowship for three years to PhD scholars. The other popular ones are NBHM Scholarships for Master’s and PhD; CSIR research fellowship for lectureship and Kishore Vaigyanik Pratsohan Yojana.
Job scope
Mathematics graduates are hired by PSUs, MNCs, banks and in schools and colleges with additional qualifications. Good researchers find space at ISRO, DRDO, NAL and SETS. IT giants like IBM and Microsoft regularly rope in mathematicians to fill the posts of research scientists.
Expert Speak
Dr. Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar Director Focus on learning the concepts
Careers360: What all changes are evolving in Mathematics? Dr. Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar: Mathematics has gone beyond academia. In the last two decades, from teaching and research space, applied mathematics has taken lead. With the emergence of data analytics, the role of mathematicians is inevitable. The data-driven analysis requires mathematics along with statistical ideas and computing. Financial services and analytics-based companies regularly approach us for campus recruitments.
Careers360: Why is it tough to crack CMI entrance exam? Dr. Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar: The test is based on class 12 syllabus. But it does not have standard text book questions. Those who have mastered the topics well can clear our twisted questions. Students can refer old question papers posted on our website.
Careers360: How will you compare mathematical research with that of other disciplines? Dr. Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar: Research in other sciences is mostly grounded to reality whereas mathematical research can be very abstract. Application-based research such as cryptography has come up in a big way.
Careers360: Your advice to students? Dr. Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar: Students should focus on learning concepts and work out all exercises that they can get hold of on a topic once they have studied it. And always look at examples. |
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