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CS Major or Math Major for Prereq to MS in CS?

  1. May 26, 2015 #1
    I really should have titled this thread, "Burnt Out on Math, Need Advice on New Direction" but I don't know how to edit it.

    Hello, I am currently majoring in Mathematics and am considering changing my major to Computer Science because, quite frankly, I am getting burnt out on Math and don't find it enjoyable anymore. Besides that, I can get some good internship opportunities through the CS dept and know that I can get an entry level job right out of school if I do so. However, I really enjoy Linear Algebra, Discrete Math, and Statistics and would like to use them somehow in my professional life.

    I would like to work for a year or two and then return to school for a Master's Degree in Applied Statistics, Biostatistcs, or Data Science. Are these good choices to pursue for my interests?

    What higher learning or career paths are available that use, among other things, Linear Algebra, Discrete Math, and Statistics?

    FWIW, I have never taken a Physics class in my life. Is a knowledge of physics required for learning and using Signal Processing or would a class on Applied Fourier Analysis be sufficient?

    The Math Classes that I have taken so far are:
    Calc 1, 2, and 3
    Differential Equations and Linear Algebra (one class combined together)
    Discrete Mathematics
    Applied Statistics (calculus based)
    Applied Regression Analysis
    Number Theory

    I have also taken "Programming 1 & 2" through the CS dept so I've earned a Math Minor at my school.
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2015 #2


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    Education Advisor

    To the OP:

    First of all, there is a fair amount of application of linear algebra within computer science from the obvious (numerical linear algebra) to the less obvious (databases, computer networks, etc.) and so conceivably, working on software development (such as any sort of simulation work) you should be able to make decent use of it.

    Discrete math serves as the foundation for theoretical CS, so any study or work involving algorithms will involve it at some stage or another.

    If you are interested in pursuing an interest in statistics, certainly majoring in CS (with a possible minor or double major in Statistics), along with a masters in Applied Statistics, Biostatistics, or Data Science are definitely good choices to pursue your interests, and should offer you the skillset required to work in statistics or data science, which as far as I'm aware of are in solid demand. Having a background in statistics can also be useful in case you plan on pursuing graduate studies in CS specializing in, say, machine learning.

    As for your final question on Signal Processing -- this is an area I'm not overly familiar with, but my thinking is that a background in applied Fourier analysis should be sufficient.

    Hope this reply was useful. Best of luck on your studies!
  4. Jun 10, 2015 #3
    Thank you! Your response has helped me quite a bit. I have found a local state school that I will be transferring into that will let me earn a B.S. in Mathematics without taking any analysis ('proof') courses. There I will be taking probability, symbolic logic, theory of computing, and two more statistics courses. With the completion of those courses, in addition to the Math courses that I have already taken, I will have earned a Math degree. I will also be minoring in Computer Science and interning through both the Math and CS departments.

    The school is starting a B.S. in Data Science that is combination of both Math and CS courses but they won't be offering it until Spring 2016. At that time, I will most likely just change my major to Data Science.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
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