Quantitative reasoning, mathematical analysis, and computational methods are becoming ever more pervasive, both in industry and in research. This process is driven by the rapidly growing ability to collect, store, and process data.
Consider a basic business activity - retail. Computerized cash registers with barcode scanners and retail over the Web allow automatic collection of vast amounts of purchase data. These data are used to manage inventories, measure the effect of product placement in stores, advertising, and Web site design, identify and target consumer groups, etc. Quantitative analysis is supplementing "gut feeling" as a basis for business decisions.
The increasing importance of mathematical ideas and computational techniques in the sciences is exemplified by the transformation of biology. The image of a biologist solely as a scientist looking through a microscope in a lab or collecting samples in the field is no longer valid. A modern biologist is just as likely to explore the aerodynamics of insect flight using techniques from computational fluid dynamics or study the regulatory circuits of gene expression using the latest ideas from machine learning. The ACMS program aims at providing students with the background and the tools to be successful in this new environment.
Many ACMS students are double majors. Given the "quantification" of the world alluded to above, studying an area like biology, economics, or business while at the same time obtaining a solid foundation in the mathematical sciences is an excellent choice, no matter whether the next step is a job or graduate school.
- Get the ACMS Handout
One of the reasons for getting an education is preparation for a career. There are several good sources about the careers embarked upon by mathematical sciences graduates:
- Early Career Profiles: Recent bachelors-level graduates in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences published by the American Mathematical Society.
- The Math Sciences Career Info site published by the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).
- The Mathematical and Computational Science program at Stanford is very similar to the UW ACMS program. Have a look at their Introduction page to see what their graduates are doing.