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101 Careers in Mathematics

Deanna Haunsperger and Robert Thompson, editors
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The Basic Library List Committee recommends this book for acquisition by undergraduate mathematics libraries.

[Reviewed by
Hannah Robbins
, on
[See our previous reviews of the first, second, and third editions of this book.]
101 Careers in Mathematics (Fourth Edition) is intended for anyone who’s asked or been asked the question ``What can I do with a math degree?”.  As would any great advisor, it doesn’t attempt to provide an answer to the question, but rather provides a wealth of information about many different mathematical careers so that a curious person can use it to come up with their own answer.
The majority of the book is a series of brief autobiographical descriptions of various careers, which include the author’s path to that career and how their mathematical training benefits their performance of their job.  I really appreciate the broad range of jobs discussed, as well as the variety in the career paths and academic credentials of the authors.  It was also great to see a very diverse pool of people so a wide range of students can identify with the role models presented.  These are followed up by an excellent series of essays giving advice on how to look for a job, prepare for an interview, and apply to graduate school.
I think this book would be a great resource for math departments, math clubs, academic advisors, and counselors - particularly at the high school and undergraduate level.  I’m already planning to put my copy in our department lounge where students can peruse it at their leisure.  
My one criticism of this book is that the informational essays at the end are not clearly advertised enough.  They are placed at the end of the book and hence appear at the end of the very long table of contents.  My worry is that unless they are clearly pointed out to students, they may be missed by a casual browser.  I’m planning to tape a bookmark into my copy to counteract this.  However, this is a minor quibble with an overall excellent resource for a perennial question in any math department.


Hannah Robbins ( teaches math at Roanoke College in Virginia.  She has advised many students through their initial career explorations, and plans to incorporate this book into those discussions.