• Question: is maths important to your jobs as scientists?

    Asked by sallyrozbun to Gioia, Iain, Jo, Leo, Mariam on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Leo Garcia

      Leo Garcia answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Very much so – in fact, I am currently using trigonometry to solve an ultrasound problem! Also, I would have thought statistics is part of almost all scientific experimentation.

    • Photo: Joanna Watson

      Joanna Watson answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Yes! Maths is very important for epidemiology – most of what we do is statistics stuff and so is all based on maths.

      I’m not great at maths though, I really struggled with maths A-level so I have to ask the statisticians about the complicated maths and get them to explain it to me in words.

    • Photo: Mariam Orme

      Mariam Orme answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Yes, maths is pretty important to my job. I don’t need really advanced maths, but I do use at least some maths every day – figuring how much of certain chemicals to use in experiments, analysing data… Do you like maths? Even if you don’t, it’s worth working at it, because it’s very important for lots of jobs!

    • Photo: Iain Moal

      Iain Moal answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Its very important in my work. That doesn’t mean that I’m particularly good at it though. There are some scientists who are very mathematical. They can develop sophisticated mathematical model using very tricky math. There are scientists like me who use mathematical equations all the time, but mostly just plug numbers into formulas. Then, there are other scientists who do very little maths, apart from the odd bit of statistics.

    • Photo: Gioia Cherubini

      Gioia Cherubini answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Depending on which area of Science you are in, you may need more or less maths, but I think that you need a little bit of it in every area. In my case, the bit that I use a lot, is to help me calculate concentrations of drugs that I can put on the cells or to prepare solution; simple equations to do conversions (for example from molarity to grams/ml).
      I also need statistics, to calculate if the differences that I see between samples are important (significant) or due to chance.
      It may not look like a lot, but in the end I couldn’t do any work without using a bit of maths.