Applied Mathematics

What is Applied Math?

What is Applied Mathematics?

Applied Mathematics has a profound impact on our daily lives. Whether it is weather forecasts, search engines, climate research, secure online shopping, or movie recommendations, none of these would work the way they do without algorithms and tools from the mathematical sciences. More generally, Applied Mathematics is an inherently interdisciplinary subject, which covers a wide spectrum of scientific activities. It is the mathematics of problems arising in the physical, life and social sciences as well as in engineering, and provides a broad qualitative and quantitative background for use in these fields.

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Owing to its nature, Applied Mathematics appeals to people with a variety of different interests, ranging from those with a desire to obtain a good quantitative background for use in some future career, to those who wish to have a better understanding of the basic mathematical aspects of other fields, or to those who are interested in the fundamental mathematical techniques and approaches in themselves. The program stresses but is not limited to scientific computing, differential equations, and applied probability which are areas of mathematics that are used most often in applications in science, society and industry. The curriculum of the Division is flexible enough to meet the goals and interests of a very wide range of students. 

Students take courses in applied mathematics for many reasons, not necessarily with an applied mathematics concentration in mind. The value of learning about applied mathematics goes beyond a career opportunity. It provides an education in the use of quantitative methods in thinking about and solving problems: knowledge that is valuable in all walks of life.


We offer four concentrations for undergraduates:

  • Applied Mathematics (A.B. and Sc.B.) 
  • Applied Mathematics-Biology (Sc.B.) 
  • Applied Mathematics-Computer Science (Sc.B.)
  • Applied Mathematics-Economics (A.B. and Sc.B.)

Visit our Concentrations page to learn more about requirements, curriculum pathways, advisors, and honors programs.


Our Applied Mathematics concentrations prepare students for a variety of careers. Our former students work in many different areas, including:

  • actuarial science and insurance companies
  • banking, finance, and investment companies
  • computer and software development
  • consulting companies
  • law and medical school
  • data analytics, and data science
  • teaching
  • graduate study in applied mathematics, mathematics, economics, and operations research

    Applied mathematicians are often hired by companies who seek employees with strong analytical thinking and problem-solving skills: our courses and concentrations help you develop these skills. A list of positions that Brown Applied Math concentrators moved into after graduating can be found at the CareerLAB website

    If you would like to find out more about the careers pursued by applied mathematicians, please have a look at the SIAM's career brochure, or visit the career pages of AMSMAA and SIAM.