# Applied vs Pure Math for an Engineering Student [closed]

I'm an electrical engineering student specializing in communications. I decided 1 year into my undergraduate studies to pursue a degree in mathematics alongside my engineering degree. I plan on going to engineering research (PhD) and possibly working in the industry after a while. I know that applied math would make more sense but I'm asking whether it would make that much of a difference if I went with Pure instead.

One reason I'm asking this is that Pure Math has more "beautiful" courses that made me decide on math in the first place. Moreover, the two degrees aren't that different in terms of required courses. Finally, Applied would take me more time to complete because my math course choices in that my 2nd year were oriented towards Pure. I'm completely willing to spend that extra time pursuing applied. I'm just wondering wether it would make a difference.

• Hi, and welcome to Academia.SE! Both of the possible paths that you are considering are reasonable possibilities, but which is best for you depends on details of you and your circumstances that random strangers on the internet cannot know well enough to help. Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 1:11
• Having done Pure math, and E/E Engineering with a Comms focus; Pure math is real useful, if that is where Complex Analysis is placed (If could be in applied too i guess). Understanding Laurent Series makes finding Fourier Series easier and more intuitive. More generally though, in my PhD I have used just about everything from my 2 undergrad degrees (and 3 majors). It is all useful; That one Applied Math unit I took? Turns out super useful cos I could reframe a decoding problem as a convex optimization problem. Pure Topology? Turns out great work is happening in a related area using manifolds Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 2:39
• do you plan to continue anything in the direction of your EE emphasis (which is Communications Systems)? will Signal Processing (DSP) be part of that? if so, you should take courses in 1. Probability, Random Variables, and Random Processes; 2. Complex Variables; 3. Numerical Methods and Approximation Theory; 4. Metric Spaces and Functional Analysis. those courses will assist you with a signal processing emphasis. maybe take a semester of Real Analysis. you should already have enough in Differential Equations, Linear System Theory, and in Fourier analysis. Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 6:00