What can I do with mathematics?

Because of the many fissures and folds in the surface of the brain, mapping our brains is more complex than converting a globe to a map.

Mapping the Brain

Mathematics is used to understand how to precisely identify the parts of the brain that correspond to specific functions. Current research involves mapping our three-dimensional brain to two dimensions, similar to translating a globe to a map. Yet because of the many fissures and folds in the surface of the brain, mapping our brains is more complex than converting a globe to a map.

Points of the brain that are at different depths can appear close in a conventional image. To develop maps of the brain that distinguish such points, researchers use topology and geometry, including hyperbolic and spherical geometry. Conformal mappings—correspondences between the brain and its flat map that don’t distort angles between points—are especially important to accurate representations of the brain. Just as a map of the earth aids navigation, conformal mappings serve as a guide for researchers in their quest to understand the brain.

Download article

New: Edgewood College Undergraduate Math Journal

For submission guidelines and other information, please contact Steven Post.



While the main motivation to choose math as a major should stem from a combination of keen interest and high ability in math, students are naturally concerned about the opportunities available to a mathematics major or a mathematics teaching major after graduation. At this time, the math major appears to be in a better position than many other majors for employment in business, industry, government agencies, and teaching. The prospects are also good for well-qualified students to obtain support for graduate studies in either mathematics or mathematics education. Also a major in mathematics is excellent preparation for further study in many other fields.

In order to help you clarify your thoughts on what you want to get out of your collegiate experience as a math major, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Why do I like mathematics? What is it about math that attracts me to majoring in mathematics?
  • What type of mathematics do I like? Do I like the computational aspect? The rigor and logic? The problem solving experience? The theoretical aspect? Which content areas interest me?
  • What do I want to do for a career? Do I want to teach, or do I want pursue other avenues? If you want to teach, then:
    • what age group(s) do you want to teach? PreK, 1-6, 6-9, 9-12, college?
    • do you want to teach just mathematics, or do you want to have the flexibility to teach other fields as well?
  • If you are not interested in a career in teaching, then: are you interested in a career in business, industry, government, nonprofits, other alternatives?
  • How much education do I want to complete? Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D.? Do I want to enter the work force right after graduation with the option to pursue graduate work later?
  • What do I need to do in order to further my career prospects?
  • What should I be doing academically to further my goals? Should I pick up a minor in another area? Should I try to double major?
  • What extracurriculars should I become involved in to further my goals? For example, should I get involved with the math club? Should I participate in the MCM Modeling Competition?
  • What types of work experience should I try to get to further my goals? Should I consider volunteer work experiences such as tutoring? Should I consider internships?
  • What organizations should I become involved in? What conferences or meetings might it be helpful to attend?


^ Back to Top