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Should Mathematicians Spend more Time in Military or Medicine?

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posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 01:27 AM
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Almost all causes of death in the world each year are due to disease, generally a slow killer. As we know, however, large wars can be a primary cause of death, at least in certain geographical locations. Nuclear war apparently poses the largest "fast" cause of death.

I have known a few mathematicians who seem to be able to do almost anything. Generally, I would expect them to share their time between military and medical issues. Ultimately, they would probably do what their conscience tells them to do.

May world missile prevention and defense, and medical prevention and defense systems be built!!!




posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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Interesting premise, however, from a historical standpoint "war" has driven innovation in every field of human life. From MRI's to trauma treatment, alot of this stuff has military roots at thier core.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 02:10 AM
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I agree. I sometimes analogize war with energy and some of my most "creative" thoughts occur when I feel intense energy. Thank you for your comment.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 07:19 PM
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Mathematicians should do whatever they want. If they want to delve their full time into the study of topology and other pure math at a college as a professor or make models of future stock market trends for stocker brokers, so be it.

I am not sure I understand the statement though.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 07:59 PM
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the logistics of distributing equity more fairly between all people. The little annoyance that nags me might then be erased. I just despise the statistic that shows every single day, 365 days a year, 25 000 kids starve to death and an additional 25 000 die for want of basic medical care, which totals 50000 kids every single day dying while hundreds of billions of dollars go to making better bombs and weapons.
If they were doing the math, they might come up with some different formulae that resolve this unbalanced equation. It is a calculated risk, but the product might be worthwhile.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
the logistics of distributing equity more fairly between all people. The little annoyance that nags me might then be erased. I just despise the statistic that shows every single day, 365 days a year, 25 000 kids starve to death and an additional 25 000 die for want of basic medical care, which totals 50000 kids every single day dying while hundreds of billions of dollars go to making better bombs and weapons.
If they were doing the math, they might come up with some different formulae that resolve this unbalanced equation. It is a calculated risk, but the product might be worthwhile.


The logistics of supplies and money are fairly well known as to what needs to be supplied to make such things possible. The factor that decides whether humanitarian aid or WB money will make a significanct difference hinges on the people of the world and whether they are willing to do what is necessary. Most people aren't: civil wars, drug wars, oil wars, poor farming techniques and strategy, etc are the what make this a dream for the ages.

Why should mathematicians study medicine, I always invisioned mathematicians studying the universe or working in particle and quantum physics?



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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imo, the IMF and WB use their power to require developing nations to follow their orders. If the past imperialistic, colonial oppressors who invaded those countries had not sucked out so many of their resources, they might not have been in the current state of disarray. Now, the insistence that they pursue mono-cultural farming practices, concentrating on a few Western world desired crops has replaces a poly-cultural system that would have made them self sufficient in food, anyway. The vagaries or manipulations of the commodities markets then leaves them at the mercy of the rise and fall of the prices of those one or two items. Nothing they can do can get them out of this mess without some form of restitution and redistribution of wealth. Those countries who have historically benefitted from their occupation and resource expropriation must now pay them back so that a balance can be reached that is at least within sight of fairness.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by Frosty
Why should mathematicians study medicine, I always invisioned mathematicians studying the universe or working in particle and quantum physics?


There are many applications of mathematics into biology and medicine namely in epidemiology, genetics, nuerobiology etc.
I personally think its a perfect marriage. Biologists have more data than they know what to do with, and mathematicians have the tools and expertise to begin to make sense of it. In the field of biostatistics theres a growing demand for mathematicians.
I personally am aiming to become an epidemiologist. Its a good route for people who want to go into bio research without getting the Phd right away. Ive applied for the Fall 06 program and lets hope the school accepts my damn transfer! *crossed fingers*



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by I_s_i_s


What makes you think there are "enough" mathematicians if there are not enough biologist? I wonder what major more students would be interested in pursuing: math or bio?

The number of biologist ,like that of mathematicians, depends on research jobs and money, for a mjority. An example would be the young mathematician who attends graduate school to become an astrophysicist. Chances are they will never work as an astrophysicist, will end up working for a brokerage firm making models of future stock market trends, all because the jobs just are not there.

I read today in Physics Today that the Department of Homeland Security (US) spends a quarter of a billion dollars on Nuclear Response per annum? Oh my god, why? I think we spent an entire Cold War planning a nuclear response (more like thousands of them).

This money could go towards researching a disease. Our government has the ability to set trends in the R&D and science industries and often times do set the trend. President Bush a few years ago stated that he might be in favor of supporting a bill that bans embryonic stem cell research and he has also denied research money based on his religion. Since then, that market has dipped, so I say it starts with the government.

Until the US government starts putting more money into the areas of medicine research, I doubt whether there will ever be enough biologist, chemist, physicist, computer scientist or mathematicians.

I know there many uses for mathematicians in biology, but are the jobs available? I have researched 'careers for mathematicians' and more often than not it does not come up as a career that makes up a high % of math majors.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 06:09 PM
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math is the same. It can be used to kill, or to save lives. I think the answer as to which option is better is pretty obvious.
My only difference of opinion is that before we work on more cures we need to ensure that our current abilities to do so are being fairly offered.
When there are 50 000 kids a day starving to death or dying for want of some basic medical care, it seems like the priority should be to end that unnecessary tragedy. Then, research better medicine, which would not be very long delayed by my suggestion. It would take very little time to set up and start a plan to end the 50 000 daily child deaths.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by Frosty

Originally posted by I_s_i_s


What makes you think there are "enough" mathematicians if there are not enough biologist?

When did I imply that?



I know there many uses for mathematicians in biology, but are the jobs available? I have researched 'careers for mathematicians' and more often than not it does not come up as a career that makes up a high % of math majors.

Applied jobs are available but the competition is tough. Like you said, too many theoretical mathematicians with no jobs will also be added to this list of jobseekers.

Not a peachy outlook for mathematians according to BLS.
stats.bls.gov...

[edit on 25-1-2006 by I_s_i_s]



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 12:03 AM
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As a somewhat of a mathematicain myself, maybe I know something or then again maybe I don't. Although, I do know people in pure mathematics, I'm currently working the pharmaceutical industry, and I may soon be figuring out to allocate equity. So, I'll explain what I believe I understand.

In pretty much all areas of society, there are technical issues, and there are political, so to speek. In medicine, most of the big issues are more political than scientific. Mistakes and people not being able to afford medical care cause most of the problems with our medical system today. Even if we build a perfect missile defense system, there are still other means. If someone gets a perfect defense mechanism, they will have the capability of killing anyone with complete and total impunity.

The whole idealist nonesense isn't really the same as reality. The military and the pharmaceutical industry are highly bureacratic. Academia is full of people endlessly publishing, what is often lousy research, so they can get more research grants. Furthermore, the long apprenticeship process is quite harsh.

Quantitative research of equities can offer real, tangible monetary rewards. Hence, good research is much more valued and rewarded. Results are much more easily quantifiable so bureacracratic nonesense can be kept to a minimum.



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