What Does a Mathematical Modeler Do? Where Do Mathematical Modelers Work? ACR Takes a Look.
|Brigham Young University||Provo||Utah|
|Fashion Institute of Technology||New York||New York|
|Indiana University||South Bend||Indiana|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester||New York|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester||New Hampshire|
|Truman State University||Kirksville||Missouri|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando||Florida|
|University of Massachusetts-Lowell||Lowell||Massachusetts|
What Does a Mathematical Modeler Do?
Mathematical modelers use mathematical models to illustrate processes or solve complex problems. These skills can be applied to a number of fields including animation. Many mathematical modelers use their mathematical modeling skills along with software technology to create and animate 3D representations of processes.
According to UK-based mathematical modeler Nira Chamberlain, modelers pinpoint the essence of what makes something work, be it a jet engine, a social network, or even the economy, and phrase it in mathematical language. Modelers encode the main features of the process with equations, and then simulate it. By doing this, modelers can gain a deeper understanding of the process, conduct experiments (that would otherwise be unfeasible or even impossible to do), and predict future behavior.
Where Do Mathematical Modelers Work?
Mathematical modelers work in dozens of different industries from aerospace to zoology. In entertainment industries, mathematical modelers may work on technical teams in animation, video game design, video game programming, and film and video.
What is the Job Outlook for Mathematical Modelers?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report employment information for mathematical modelers. However, the agency does report information for mathematicians and multimedia artists and animators. The employment outlook for mathematicians is outstanding. Employment for this group is expected to increase by 30% for the 2016-2026 decade, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
Job opportunities for mathematicians can be found all over the U.S. However, California (highest), Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, and Texas have the highest employment levels for this occupation.
Employment for multimedia artists and animators is expected to grow 8% from 2016-2026. This is about as fast as average for all occupations. While job opportunities for animators and multimedia artists can be found all over the U.S., five states have the highest employment levels—California (highest), Texas, New York, Georgia, and Florida.
Other Schools to Consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
How Much Do Mathematical Modelers Make?
Salaries for mathematical modelers vary greatly by industry, experience, company, geographic location and more. However, ZipRecruiter reports that the national average for mathematical modeling jobs is $92,625. The salary on the lower end of the pay scale is $26,000. On the high end, mathematical modelers can earn up to $180,000.
The BLS does not report salary information for mathematical modelers. However, the agency does report salaries for both mathematicians and multimedia artists and animators. These figures, along with the figures reported by ZipRecruiter, should give mathematical modelers interested in entering the animation industry a good idea of what to expect.
BLS Salary Information for Mathematicians
The median annual wage for mathematicians is $101,900. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10% earn less than $57,150, and the highest 10% earn more than $160,550. The top paying states for mathematicians are:
- District of Columbia - $133,870
- Washington - $123,380
- Colorado - $122,840
- Virginia - $121,240
- New Jersey - $117,060
Some of the highest paying metro areas for mathematicians are also some of the top areas for animators, filmmakers, directors, producers and other artists. They include:
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV - $138,900
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA - $138,860
- Albuquerque, NM - $109,950
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD - $106,920
- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD - $104,930
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA - $100,960
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI - $99,880
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA - $94,270
- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA - $90,640
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - $87,150
BLS Salary Information for Multimedia Artists and Animators
The median annual wage for multimedia artists and animators is $72,520. The lowest 10% earn less than $40,870 and the highest 10% earn more than $124,310. At $86,080, multimedia artists and animators working in the motion picture and video industries earn the highest annual wage of the top five industries with the highest levels of employment for this profession.
The top paying states for multimedia artists and animators are:
- Connecticut - $102,630
- Washington - $90,700
- District of Columbia - $89,210
- California - $87,960
- New York - $86,490
Some of the highest paying metro areas for multimedia artists and animators are:
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT - $115,070
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - $91,850
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - $91,840
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA - $91,010
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA - $87,320
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA - $86,240
- Savannah, GA - $82,880
- Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA - $80,230
- Raleigh, NC - $79,070
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL - $78,980
How Do I Become a Mathematical Modeler?
Mathematicians typically need an advanced degree, either a master’s or a doctorate in mathematics. In the animation industry, employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Animators typically have a bachelor’s in animation, computer graphics, computer animation, or a related field.
Aspiring mathematical modelers should seek out schools that offer both math and animation programs (undergraduate and graduate) and schools that will allow them to declare a double major, earn a certificate, take a minor, or complete elective coursework in both areas.
Which Schools Offer Programs for Aspiring Mathematical Modelers?
- Brigham Young University, BFA Animation, BS Computer Science, Animation Emphasis, BS, MS Mathematics
- DePaul University, BFA Animation, BS Mathematical Sciences, MS Applied Mathematics, Mathematics Minor
- Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT NYC), BA Animation, Interactive Media & Game Design, Minor Mathematics, 3D Design
- Indiana University, BFA in Integrated New Media Studies (INMS), 3D Modeling and Animation, BA, BS, MA, PhD Mathematics
- Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Design, BFA 3D Digital Design, BS Applied Mathematics, BS Computational Mathematics, MS Applied and Computational Mathematics, PhD Mathematical Modeling
- Southern New Hampshire University, BA Graphic Design and Media Arts with a Concentration in 3D Modeling and Animation, BA, Certificate Math
- Temple University, BFA with a Concentration in Media Arts (3D Modeling, Animation, Experimental Video, Multimedia Audio, Interactive Narrative, Web Art, Videography, Interdisciplinary Studio Practice), BA, BS, Minor Mathematics, BS Applied Mathematics, MS Concentration Applied and Computational Mathematics
- Truman State University, BFA Design, 3D Modeling, Motion-Animation Track, BS, Minor Mathematics
- University of Central Florida, BFA Emerging Media, Character Animation or Experimental Animation Track, MFA Emerging Media, Animation & Visual Effects Track, PhD Modeling and Simulation
- University of Massachusetts-Lowell, BFA Graphic Design or Studio Arts, Focus 3D Modeling, BA, BS Mathematics, BS Applied Mathematics Option, MS Mathematics, Applied and Computational Mathematics Option, PhD Computational Mathematics
Awesome Animation Fact: Did you know that The Lion King was initially created as a secondary animated film, while the main stake was made by the Disney studio on “Pocahontas?” Scriptwriters for “the animated musical did not believe in the project and were reluctant to start working on it, stating that “the story is not that good” and “I don’t even know who will watch that.” Turns out, lots of people! Several sources report that the original Lion King (1994) earned close to $1 billion (or more) at the box office worldwide. The new Lion King (2019) brought in $191.8 million (domestic) opening weekend, and $543.6 million globally.