045 Pure vs applied mathematics

When you hear about math, you always tend to be confused regarding the notions of applied or pure mathematics. That’s why it’s important to understand what each of these ideas is about and ensure that you gain access to the right amount of knowledge. That can make a huge difference, and it’s fascinating, to say the least.

Is there a difference between applied and pure mathematics?

Yes, and it all stems from how it’s used and why that happens in the first place. Simply put, pure maths is done basically for its own sake, whereas applied maths is done with practical use. It is just a simple answer since there can be different applications, even for the most abstract math approach. It’s important to understand why this comes and what you can do to achieve those goals and ideas uniquely. With that being said, it’s important to keep in mind every field can be really useful.

Take number theory, for example. Many people believed it’s useless, but now it’s a pivotal part of the encryption systems used by computers. Number theorists have managed to implement encryption in many ways, and now you can do that without that much of a hassle.

Moreover, applied mathematics focuses on explaining, predicting and modelling things that appear in the real world. An example would be fluid mechanics. It is an applied mathematics wing that focuses on how fluids end up being affected by various forces. There are other examples like probability theory or statistics.

In the case of pure mathematics, this concept is separate when it comes to the real world. It solves issues and problems that appear, answers questions that are not dependent on the world around us, and finds facts. It’s still essential, but it has less practicality, and it focuses a lot more on theories.

The scope of applied and pure mathematics

Pure mathematics tends to focus on an enormous scope more often than not. With applied mathematics, you have a narrow scope since you have a particular purpose for the matter at hand. And that’s what makes it so useful and exciting in the first place. It’s a great idea to keep that in mind since both concepts can be very useful. Many mathematics experts have a struggle when it comes to identifying what pure or applied mathematics is. Sometimes there can be a very blurry line between the two.


Both pure and applied mathematics are an excellent undergrad study, and you will find them incredibly important. You can find specific degrees and courses that you can use to study applied or pure mathematics in detail. It’s important and relevant to understand the differences between these, giving an excellent insight. Understanding that can help solve a multitude of prevalent issues and the outcome can be staggering in the long term. However, you must come to terms with the fact that there are times when pure and applied mathematics can be used interchangeably!

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