Applied mathematics is concerned with using mathematical techniques and models to obtain practical solutions to concrete problems. This may help explain observations, or predict what may happen in the future. Applications of mathematics span most branches of modern science, engineering, information technology and commerce. In particular, biology and medicine are important emerging areas where a mathematical approach can reveal new knowledge. Applied mathematicians do not just rely on existing mathematical theories and techniques - often they need to develop new theories or adapt existing approaches to the specific application. They try to view problems in an abstract form, so they can identify links with other applications and build upon the existing knowledge. They also use computational techniques to understand the solution better and reveal its properties. A key feature of applied mathematics is its emphasis on the mathematical techniques and approaches used, and what they are able to reveal about each application, rather than a detailed understanding of the application area itself.
The School of Mathematical Sciences offers a comprehensive program of mathematics units at all undergraduate levels. It encompasses a wide range of areas of modern mathematics, from mathematical methods to statistics to pure mathematics, as well as demonstrating the applications of mathematics across a variety of fields. In addition to the major and extended major in applied mathematics, a broader major and extended major is offered in mathematics, along with specialised programs in mathematical statistics, pure mathematics and financial and insurance mathematics. There are cross links between applied and pure mathematics and statistics, and this is reflected in the mix of units that students can select to complete a major or extended major. Our curriculum is continuously updated to ensure that our students are exposed to the latest developments in mathematics, and acquire skills relevant to the current needs of industry.
Applied mathematics is used to solve problems from many branches of science, engineering, information technology and commerce. For example, it can help understand how cells divide, generate new financial tools, or predict weather. By studying applied mathematics at university, students will also develop general skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, modelling, scholarship, analysis, research and creativity, which can be used wherever their career may take them. Mathematics and statistics are also the two cornerstones for decision making and quantitative activities in commerce, industry, education and defence. Successful companies and organisations know their competitive edge depends on the analytical and quantitative skills of their workforce, and therefore seek employees with a sound mathematical training. Applied mathematics graduates work in a variety of fields, such as the finance, computing and insurance industries, medical and scientific research, the public service, journalism and teaching.
Applied mathematics is listed in S2000 Bachelor of Science, S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) and S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours) at Clayton as a major or extended major.
In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major or extended major will be able to:
- display basic knowledge and key technical skills in advanced calculus, linear algebra, differential equations and computational methods as well as high-level knowledge of and skills in the important techniques, terminology and processes of applied mathematics
- develop, apply, integrate and generate knowledge through abstraction and insight, and use high-level critical thinking skills to model, analyse, use and interpret the mathematics that arises across a range of applications in science, medicine, economics or engineering
- demonstrate skills in the written presentation of a mathematical argument that enable mathematical models, concepts, processes and results to be communicated effectively to diverse audiences.