I am a final year BSc Mathematics student and I am seriously considering taking a Master's sometime soon. Some institutions have two separate courses for pure and applied maths. My question is, if I was interested in a field such as PDE and wanted to do both sides of the pure and applied spectrum, i.e., existence and uniqueness, analysis etc.. and numerical modelling and such. What options are there in regard to this kind of thing? Does taking a pure course mean you get stuck in only the pure side of each topic? Or, is there generally a lot of overlap between the two sides?

Apologies for the wordy question and thanks in advance.

  • $\begingroup$ In my experience the distinction between pure and applied mathematics lies more in the fields of mathematics, i.e. Pure mathematics would focus on algebra, category theory, number theory, combinatorics, logic, set theory, geometry etc. while Applied mathematics focuses more on fields like analysis, PDE's, modelling, mathematical physics/biology, functional analysis etc. While applied mathematics has undeniably more focus on real life problems, there are plenty pure mathematicians working in Applied mathematics. I personally work in Functional Analysis and don't work with applications. $\endgroup$ – Floris Claassens May 10 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. That helps me out significantly. Would you say in your experience that a pure math course can have some applications involved in it as well, and vice versa? $\endgroup$ – C_Richmond May 11 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ Honestly I never followed a pure math course, so I can't say with certainty they do not have applications. The pure maths modules I followed tended to be very pure and lack applications, but then that's what I went for. $\endgroup$ – Floris Claassens May 12 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ It might be worthwhile to look for a course with a lot of freedom in your choice of modules. $\endgroup$ – Floris Claassens May 12 at 10:03

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