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Careers


What are job possibilities for a bio-mathematician?

Well, first off, a biomath person is a special form of applied mathematician, and so in principle qualifies for all the industrial jobs that applied mathematicians would. Possibly more; standard applied math training is relatively weak on probability and statistics, whereas in our view a biomath person needs some probability and statistics to connect math with real-world data. This gives mathematical biologists an advantage, since a variety of companies have scads of data but no models to describe and utilize the data.

Most non-academic applied math jobs revolve around software, so if you wish to get industrial jobs it is important to build your simulation skills. Most of our students have experience working with real experimental data, developing models and parameters which describe the mechanisms generating the data and account for uncertainty, and construct and analyze simulations which predict the behavior of those simulations in the real world. These skills have proved to be useful for our industrial partners.

And you shouldn't discount academic jobs, both at the four-year and research university levels. We invest a lot in teaching and training teachers in our BioMath program, and we specialize in using real-world, even experiential examples to enhance teaching. Several of our students have gone on to teach and there will be more and more post-secondary teaching jobs in the future.


How will this program help me later in my career?

There are many unique opportunities for graduate students in mathematical biology here at USU. You can take classes here which prepare you to work with real-world scientists, because we have an `open' curriculum, which allows students to take any combination of classes in math, statistics, biology, ecology, applied economics and computer science. You will gain practical experience working with scientists because our projects are generated by collaborations with real-world researchers. Students working in applied math here learn to use practical computing skills and mathematical analyses that provide valuable and unique skills. And our department, particularly in applied mathematics, has a tradition of teaching and mentoring excellence. All of our students come out with high-level teaching skills and experience, making them top contenders for post-secondary education jobs.