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Programs Double Major in Applied Math and CS, Might Go To Grad School

  1. Sep 1, 2016 #1
    I'm currently a college student that is a CS major. I'm thinking about doing a double major in applied math, because I really enjoy it. I also plan on going to grad school to get either a PhD or a Master's degree in applied math. Is this a good path? Or should I go to grad school for CS? I would like a job that utilizes both math and CS in the future, and I don't know if that's possible without some sort of graduate degree. Machine learning seemed like a good option, but I would prefer not to major in statistics, is it possible to do it with applied math? Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2016 #2


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    Hi there! To answer the first question, I think pursuing a double major in CS and applied math is a good path, since in most colleges/universities which offer such programs, there already exists considerable overlap in course requirements. Furthermore, there are many areas of research at the graduate level in which areas broadly thought of as applied math and CS overlap as well (e.g. scientific computing/numerical analysis, graph theory, optimization, etc.) -- research areas that can also be highly lucrative.

    As far as pursuing graduate studies in applied math or CS, I can't say which is necessarily better or not, since in some schools, there are joint graduate programs, and in others, CS faculty advise graduate students in applied math, in areas of common interest. In all honesty, having a strong background in both CS and applied math can only help you ultimately if you intend on pursuing graduate studies in either program.

    Finally, it is most certainly possible to pursue research in machine learning within applied math (for example, a number of researchers specializing in machine learning are part of the faculty supervising the applied math graduate program at Cornell -- other graduate applied math programs will no doubt have machine learning researchers). From my understanding, statistics courses are often requirements in most applied math programs I'm aware of, so a double major in CS and applied math should give you a solid foundation for research in machine learning (if that is what you decide on pursuing).
  4. Sep 1, 2016 #3
    It will help you to properly know how to program, design and maintain a program with a lot of code, know how a compiler, memory and the processor functions.
    Usually stuff mathematicians don't get formal training in and where they just learn as they go along in their PhD.

    That said, a double degree will probably involve learning stuff you don't need.
  5. Sep 1, 2016 #4
    Ok, thanks. I will do the double major, and then ask professors to decide which graduate program I should apply for.
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