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How much programming is a statistician supposed to know?

  1. Jul 13, 2011 #1
    Should one who is trying to be a statistician supposed to know ALOT about computer science?
    Should i take up to 2nd year courses on computer science? Would they need to take design and analysis of algorithms or computable functions
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2011 #2


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    It depends.

    For example if you doing something like what an actuary does, VBA, Excel, R, and SAS as well as custom platforms for that job are probably sufficient. You might need to do some database analysis which translates to SQL.

    If you're doing something in the vicinity of signal processing, then something like MATLAB or C/C++ is probably going to be important.

    If you are coding simulations and need the speed, you probably will need something bare to the metal like C/C++ compiled libraries or maybe even ones written in an assembly level environment.

    Typically what will happen is that you will use something that's easy to get results from and also able to generate them quickly: Whatever platform you need to use, you'll just learn that and get it to do what you need to.

    In regards to your question, I don't think its necessary to take those (in the context of you wanting to do statistics), but if you're interested I don't see why not.

    If you are interested in statistics I would suggest you get some experience with something like SAS or R. R is free and comes with a lot of libraries and documentation. SAS is like a standard platform for statistical analysis and is used widely in the USA.
  4. Jul 14, 2011 #3


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    Gold Member

    Computer skills are rapidly becoming vital in almost every discipline anymore. Its sort of like typing skill was 30 years ago.
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