# Interested in becoming an applied mathematician in the medical field, but there is not enough info out there?

I want to apply mathematics to the medical field like understanding the data behind genetic diseases. A long time ago, I went to a university that had a course in DNA Topology offered from SFSU's math department but I never took it mostly because I was scared that it would be too hard.

I am now learning about multivariable calculus and have gained some interesting insights. I am not sure how useful theoretical mathematics is in the medical field. But, last night I saw the Mean Value Theorem applied to finding the arclength of some function. For example, draw a graph, label each of the points P_1,P_2,..,P_n. You can see that |P_(i-1)Pi| = limit n-> infinity Sum(i=0 to n) sqrt((x_i-1 - x_i)^2 + (y_i-y_i))^2 and substitute delta(x) = x_i-1 - x_i, delta(y) = y_i-1 - y. By the MVT there exists an x' in [x_i-1, x_i] s.t. delta(x)*f'(x') = delta(y). Then,

sqrt(delta(x)^2 + [delta(x)*f'(x')]^2). Multiply top and bottom by delta(x)/delta(x) and you get something that looks oddly familiar.

I wonder still, how you can apply theoretical mathematics to problems in medicine, but the information out there seems scarce. I'm also afraid that I'm not that creative enough of a thinker.

### 3 Answers

- Anonymous4 years agoBest Answer
Pure math probably isn't going to have much use in health care. You might consider these areas:

Statistical analysis would probably be useful in public health (tracking infection rates and locations to determine sources of problem, where infections are going, health care planning, or correlating factors related to causes, susceptibility, immunity, or cures. It would also be helpful in testing drugs and treatments. Economics could have a bearing in that area too.

With the shambles that our health care system is in, with maldistribution of resources and a fragmented financing system, stat or econ could help study ways to improving it. Comparing one country's system to another is another application.

I'm sure that there's significant math involved in genetics and molecular biology. Those might be areas of interest.

Sounds like you need to go back to a university to shore up your studies, or perhaps you are there already. I suggest that you make an appointment with someone in the applied math, statistics, or biology department to get some advice and guidance.