The SIAM Report on Mathematics in Industry found that the most important traits of nonacademic mathematicians are

Problem solvingSkill in formulating, modeling, and solving problemsfrom diverse and changing areasFlexibilityInterest in, knowledge of, and flexibility across applicationsComputationKnowledge of and experience with computationCommunicationCommunication skills, spoken and writtenTeamworkAdeptness at working with colleagues (" teamwork")(These skills are important for academic mathematicians as well!)

Computing skillsare particularly important. 93% of nonacademic Ph.D. mathematicians rated advanced computation as essential or very important to their discipline. According to the SIAM report, "expertise in both programming and numerical analysis is essential."Mathematical specialties cited by nonacademic Ph.D. mathematicians as primary technical requirements for their positions are listed below. The percentage of mathematicians listing each specialty as a primary technical requirement is given on the right.

SpecialtyPercentageModeling and simulation 73% Numerical methods/analysis 65% Statistics 55% Probability 50% Engineering analysis/differential equations 50% Operations research/optimization 38% Discrete mathematics 26%

- A number of graduate programs emphasize skills used in industry.

- The SIAM Report on Mathematics in Industry has just been released. This is a must read if you're considering working in industry.

- SIAM News has run a nice series of articles on uses of mathematics in industry.

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Geoff Davis <gdavis@cs.dartmouth.edu>

Last modified: Fri Nov 22 13:36:19 1996