Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Mary Ita Heffernan

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Health Service Executive

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  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.

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The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Mathematical Modeller

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialised medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

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At a Glance... header image

Uses mathematical models and applications to illustrate processes or solve complex problems.


The Work header image

Mathematical modellers decipher the essence of what makes something work, from an airplane to the economy. It is then phrased in mathematical language.

Modellers encode the main features of the process with equations, and simulate it in order to gain a deeper understanding of the process.

Mathematical models are used in the natural sciences, engineering disciplines and in the social sciences.

Mathematical models can take many forms including, but not limited to, dynamical systems, statistical models, differential equations, or game theoretic models.

Modellers help to explain any system and to study the effects of different components in order to make predictions about future behaviours within that system.

A modeller’s work can be extremely varied depending on what sector you are employed in. It can range from forecasting a river flooding, to developing models that analyse the resistance of deadly diseases.

Employment opportunities for mathematical modellers can be found in a variety of industries including zoology, video game design, aerospace and pharmaceuticals and on technical teams in animation and film.

Work Activities

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

 

Tasks and Activities

-          Design and develop mathematical models of systems.

-          Evaluate relevant data and analyse it with statisticians.

-          Design and test new models to help with research.

-          Conduct mathematical models to experiment clinical data.

-          Present on recent research and findings.

-          Analyse large scale data and mathematical modelling.

-          Understand empirical process modelling, experimental design and parameter estimation.

 

Knowledge

 

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

 

Skills

Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.

Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

 


Personal Qualitiesheader image

Excellent analytical and observational skills are essential for a mathematical modeller.

Good communication skills both written and oral are necessary to communicate findings with team members and also possibly in a lecturing capacity.

Modellers need an inquisitive mind and plenty of determination as problem solving is key to this occupation.  

An aptitude for maths and mathematical applications are highly advantageous.


Entry Routesheader image

Postgraduate level study is required to become a Mathematics Modeller.

A background in Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or Computer programming would be typical for this position.

Relevant Level 8 degree courses in all of the above disciplines are available from a range of universities and IoTs.

Postgraduate courses focusing on mathematical modelling will provide optimum benefit for pursuit of this career.

For example:

  • UL provide an MSc in Mathematical Modelling - details here
  • UCC also offer a postgraduate degree in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific computing, details of which can be found here

A Ph. D. would be required to reach a high level position in this sector including Lecturing positions at third level.

Last Updated: November, 2014


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI)
  Address: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Science and Engineering, University of Limerick, Limerick
  Tel: (061) 213013
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 665 1300
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: STEPS - Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
  Tel: (01) 665 1340
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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