What they do

Mathematicians study and research the principles of mathematics and apply these principles to practical, technical and theoretical problems across a range of industries. They apply mathematical theories, algorithms and computational techniques to a wide range of problems and fields of inquiry, including design, finance, industrial production and manufacturing, environment, security, transport and logistics, urban and regional planning, astronomy, cartography, medicine and defence. Mathematicians may also teach mathematics at tertiary level.

Working conditions

Mathematicians usually work in office environments, often in universities or other research organisations. They often work in conjunction with economists, engineers, computer scientists, physicists and other technicians. Mathematicians usually work regular hours, although they may be required to work longer hours when working to deadlines or when they have been requested for special information or analysis. Some mathematicians work in academia and therefore have a mix of teaching and research responsibilities. They may be required to travel for conferences or to deliver presentations.

Tools and technologies

Mathematicians spend a large amount of their work time on computers, using a wide variety of software including analytical or scientific software, graphical or photo imaging software, as well as object or component oriented development software and word processing software. They may also use whiteboards, calculators, notebook computers and other office equipment such as phones, photocopiers and fax machines.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a mathematician you usually need to study a degree in mathematics.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Mathematicians who wish to undertake research in a university setting usually need to undertake postgraduate study.