Friday, July 11, 2014

William Satzer Reviews 101 Careers in Mathematics

William J. Satzer reviewed 101 Careers in Mathematics, 3rd Edition edited by Andy Sterrett as part of MAA Reviews. 

This is a wonderful book, potentially of great value to students and those who advise them. It has some frustrating gaps too, but in a way they also emphasize how useful it is and could be. In brief, this book presents a collection of profiles of people who have (or had) a career that involves some aspect of mathematics. Nearly all the people here have at least one degree in mathematics; the few exceptions have degrees in field like physics, operations research, or a statistics-related area. Short essays at the end of the book discuss the processes of interviewing and finding a job, and what it’s like to work in industry (or, more broadly, outside the academic community).

There are 25 new entries in this new edition that bring the total number of profiles to 146. The “101 Careers” of the title is best regarded as meaning “lots of careers”; even the first edition had more than 101 profiles. Counting careers is also a little funny: they don’t match up one-to-one with people. As many of the profiles demonstrate, many people have more than one career. Indeed it is increasingly uncommon for people to have a single career throughout their lives.

Read the full review here.

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