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Monday, Nov 20, 2006

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Q & A


I am doing II year B.Sc. Mathematics and looking for postgraduate and career options in mathematics and statistics.

Mathematics and statistics graduates are employed in different areas. Industry, commerce, government departments and teaching represent some of the more obvious ones. Some jobs require specific mathematical or statistical skills, while others, although not directly involving these skills, require the ability to think precisely and reason logically; these are abilities gained from your mathematical studies.

Generally business, industry and government want people who have a broad background and interest in a variety of mathematical areas, computation and science. Therefore you need to take papers that will expand your knowledge of applications of mathematics and statistics. The most directly applicable papers would be in biology, economics, engineering, physics, accounting, management and computer science. In particular, there are very good job opportunities in financial mathematics and in computing combined with mathematics.

If you are inclined towards research, many positions are available in research institutions and universities. The same holds true for teaching aspirants.

Also, there has been a dramatic change in the job scene over the past few years in India. Many financial service companies, research labs of multinational companies and others are aggressively recruiting Indian mathematicians.

Most universities in the country offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in mathematics and statistics. Additionally, specialised courses are offered by:

The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Taramani, Chennai-600 113.One-year intensive training programme in Physics/Mathematics for postgraduates in Maths/Physics, with special emphasis on developing problem-solving abilities, initiative for self-learning and exposure to advanced topics. The institute also offers Junior Research Fellowships in the areas of theoretical/ mathematical physics and mathematics (including theoretical computer science) leading to a doctoral degree.

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, has a school of mathematics involved in research. The Mehta Research Institute of Mathematics and Mathematical Physics in Allahabad provides scope for research in mathematics and theoretical physics. There are undergraduate courses in Mathematics Statistics, Industrial Maths and Applied Maths at the University of Pune. The University of Calcutta offers a one-year diploma in Health Statistics. A postgraduate course in Agricultural Statistics is offered at the Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Rudrapur (Nainital district).

I am doing final-year computer science engineering. I would like to know about Knowledge Engineering and career prospects.

Knowledge Engineering (KE) mainly involves building, maintaining and development of knowledge-based systems. It has a great deal in common with software engineering, and is related to many computer science domains such as artificial intelligence, databases, data mining, expert systems, decision support systems and geographic information systems. Knowledge engineering is also related to mathematical logic, as well as involved in cognitive science and socio-cognitive engineering where knowledge is produced by socio-cognitive aggregates (mainly humans) and is structured according to our understanding of how human reasoning and logic works.

The National university of Singapore offers an M.Tech professional programme in knowledge engineering.

What are the opportunities open to medical physicists in hospitals and research?

Medical physics is a branch of applied physics concerning the application of physics to medicine. It generally relates to physics as applied to medical imaging and radiotherapy, although a medical physicist may also work in other areas of healthcare. A medical physics department may be based in either a hospital or a university and its work is likely to include research, technical development and clinical healthcare.

Medical physics consists of research and development, covering an array of fields: bioinformatics, medical imaging, image processing, physiological signal processing, biomechanics, biomaterials and bioengineering, systems analysis, 3-D modelling, etc.

Examples of concrete applications of biomedical engineering are the development and manufacture of biocompatible prostheses, medical devices, diagnostic devices and imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs and pharmaceutical drugs.

Postgraduation in Medical Physics is offered at Anna University, Chennai, and Bharathiar University, Coimbatore.


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