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Thread: What is applied mathematics?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Jul 2012
    Who knows anymore

    What is applied mathematics?

    The books I am currently using is called "Applied mathematics for bachelor students" and I have heard some people calling themself professor in applied mathematics.

    But all math I have seen so far has had some practical applications. I looked up "Pure mathematics" on Wikipedia and they mentioned "Number theory", Geometry and "Mathematical analysis" among others as being fields in "Pure mathematics" but can't they also be applied to practical problems?

    From my understanding Number theory has been central in developing encryption algorithms and optimizing algorithms, am I right? and geometry would probably be useful in geographical mapping, and 3d simulation right? and mathematical analysis has to be useful in a number of business and economic practices.

    So my question is:
    Is there any field in mathematics that is not "Applied mathematics"?
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor
    Oct 2009

    Re: What is applied mathematics?

    Perhaps the only branch of mathematics I know that can be called truly pure is set theory because it is all about infinite, mostly uncountable, sets. I agree that most, if not all, of the rest of mathematics found its applications. Even abstract nonsense is applied in programming in the form of monads.

    However, some areas of mathematics are closer than others to studying problems directly posed by engineering. The distinction between applied and pure math is more quantitative than qualitative.
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  3. #3
    MHF Contributor

    Apr 2005

    Re: What is applied mathematics?

    Pretty much every form of mathematics is applicable. However, 'Applied Mathematics' focuses on actual applications and not just mathematics that can be applied.
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