Applied or pure math?

Hi everyone!

I'm an international student at UC Berkeley. I've been accepted as undeclared, so I can choose between the math majors. I really want to be a quant in the future.

So, which major do you think should I go with? why?

Thanks in advance,
Nursultan
 
Definitely applied math. I have a pure math PhD, and it definitely doesn't expose you to any of the techniques that they expect you to use in quantitative finance (everything I know about mathematics used in finance has been self-taught because of this). If you study applied math you will be expected to learn a great deal about applied ODEs and PDEs (the latter of which is very important, as many derivatives that people seek to price are solutions to given PDEs), a great deal about numerical analysis (which gives techniques for approximating solutions to things like PDEs), and it will give you a far better exposure to programming (which is something that plays almost no role in pure mathematics).

I am happy with what I learned as a pure mathematician, but I would have been much better off (given my current career objectives) studying applied math. Another thing to consider....it seems like there are far more people with applied math degrees than pure math degrees in the finance world, and like attracts like.....in other words, they will probably like you a lot more if you studied the same things that they did, right? :)

Good luck!!!
 

SYau

Ting Ting
Applied Math. I did pure math undergrad and while it was (very) rigorous, I didn't find it helpful now in my MFE.
 

Jose T

Rutgers MSMF
I think you got good advice. I think it would be helpful to take a (pure) analysis course too on your way to an applied math degree if it isn't required anyway. Good luck!
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Hi everyone!

I'm an international student at UC Berkeley. I've been accepted as undeclared, so I can choose between the math majors. I really want to be a quant in the future.

So, which major do you think should I go with? why?

Thanks in advance,
Nursultan
Physics
 
How about a mix of those? I mean instead of just studying bunch of Abtract Algebra course or tons of Numerical Analysis course try to keep a balance.In your initial years choose pure maths courses which will help you in having a solid foundation.Then later increase the amount of applied courses compared to pure ones because too many applied courses get boring too.
 
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