The discipline of working with pure mathematics to expand the breadth of mathematical knowledge. Theoretical mathematicians work to find solutions to unexplained math problems, including those that do not have practical uses. Theoretical mathematicians can also develop theories that are of use in the science and engineering fields.
By creating new principles, theoretical mathematicians help expand what is currently known about mathematics. Often, this expansion will include connecting known principles with previously unknown mathematical relationships. In addition, a theoretical mathematician may use observations and experiments to compare model inferences.
Working as a theoretical mathematician is typically a full-time job that can require more than 40 hours a week. There are jobs available in a number of industries, including the federal government, education and the private sector. When working in the private sector, the mathematician will often work in the research and development department of a science or engineering company. The jobs for a theoretical mathematician in education often combine research and teaching. The research is usually a collaborative effort with several different mathematicians or scientists.
Students who want to become theoretical mathematicians should take as many math courses as possible in high school. From there, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics will help with some jobs, including those with the federal government. Those looking to work in the science or engineering fields will need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in theoretical mathematics. All major university positions will also require an advanced degree. For those looking to teach at the middle or high school level, a master’s degree will be needed. While going to school, it is important to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in order to be successful in the theoretical mathematics field.