pattywagon Posted December 14, 2015 Share Posted December 14, 2015 I'm currently an undergraduate statistics major, and I have room for a minor. I was wondering which minor (computer science or mathematics) would be the most useful for graduate school. I would need to take 5 upper division courses in either department to satisfy the minor requirements. My statistics major already includes upper division linear algebra, programming in C, and mathematical statistics. Which courses from either department would be the most beneficial? Thank you. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

django4321 Posted December 18, 2015 Share Posted December 18, 2015 I am actually in the same position as you although I am between a second major in math and a minor in CS. Not that any of this is definitive advice but I'll share my thoughts as someone in the same boat. At the moment I am leaning towards the CS minor, but I don't necessarily have to decide until I pick my electives for my last two semesters. I am leaning towards the CS minor because I can use courses such as Big Data Analytics and Bayesian Decision Networks which seem highly relevant to life in statistics. I also feel like my CS class Digital Logic Design (where we covered lots of boolean algebra) helped me with the first part of Probability. I do think it's necessary to add some math electives to the stats major though for grad school. Multivariate Calc and Linear Algebra are required for the stats degree but adding Real Analysis definitely completes the package from what I've been told. I also elected to take proof based Discrete Math which I think helped prepare me for the Mathematical Statistics sequence. I went for one applied math course too, Mathematical Modeling of Population Biology. It ended up involving some probability theory and introduced me to Monte Carlo Simulations. It also taught me applications of matrix models and differential equations. Are you leaning towards one or the other at the moment? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

robot_control Posted December 18, 2015 Share Posted December 18, 2015 (edited) What is your gradschool plan? Are you planning grad school in statistics, applied mathematics, OR, CS? The answer will depend a lot on your interests, choice of grad school program, and career choice beyond. For example, I have heard quite a few say that for industrial big data roles, an ideal education background will be UG in Stats and MS/PhD in CS; or vice versa. If you wish to go a similar route, you might consider an MS/PhD in CS, for which a CS minor will undoubtedly help with admissions and doing well in grad school. On the other hand, if you want to do more mathematical statistics, then a Math minor might help more. However, I personally don't think this is a good option. As you rightly pointed out, you will end up taking many of the required minor classes as part of stats anyway! On your diploma and resume, it is better to put stats+CS (more variety) than stats+math (just more of the same). There are also other possibilities for gradschool like econometrics and biostatistics, for which a minor in economics or biology is a definite plus. In the absence of these, CS is likely to help more than math, since these are sufficiently applied disciplines which require CS skills. Full disclosure: I did a CS minor, so I am likely biased. Edited December 18, 2015 by robot_control typo Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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