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Masters in computer science or Masters in applied statistics?

  1. Jul 24, 2013 #1
    Crap. I couldn't get everything i wanted in my topic title.

    Anywho, I'm wondering which masters degree would be better for a career in machine learning / smart data while still keeping other - traditional options available? I would love to do a double major and earn both graduate degrees but i'm pretty sure that's impossible with a full time job (if it's not impossible it will take too long for me).

    I've read a lot about this and I have mixed feelings. I've seen some people say that if you have an undergraduate degree in computer science then a Masters in Statistics/Math/Physics leads to a powerful combination.

    What would you guys suggest? If it helps i have my bachelor degrees in computer science and math and currently work as a software developer (so i plan on going to school part time for right now)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2013 #2
    My significant others Father is a professor at the University of Alberta in Computing Science. He publishes a lot in Machine learning. Formally, he is trained in Applied Mathematics and I think he considers this a huge advantage. He takes on a lot of graduate students and I think he is often frustrated with the level of math students enter with. Many students coming from computing science graduate programs lack the proper mathematics background and he spends a lot of time teaching them mathematics or giving them mathematics to learn. That is just one perspective though.
     
  4. Jul 27, 2013 #3
    What level of mathematics do you need to be able to have such a career in machine learning?
     
  5. Jul 27, 2013 #4
  6. Jul 27, 2013 #5
    That link is awesome. I think i'll go through the rest of the pdfs on that website. But back to my original question.. do you think an MS in CS or Stats is better for a career in machine learning? I would love to get both of them and sometimes i lean towards the Stats and then other times i lean towards the CS.
     
  7. Jul 27, 2013 #6
    Do you hope to work on the more theoretical side? Then maybe statistics is better. The people I know have a PHD in either statistics or probability (or combined). But It's not like it isn't possible with a Masters/PHD in comp sci. The professor I know takes on many masters and pHD students on topics related to machine learning through the CS department. A neat option (possibly very beneficial) is to get a masters in statistics/probability (you could even focus on something related to machine learning), and then go for a pHd in a computer science department !
     
  8. Jul 27, 2013 #7
    I don't hope to work on the theoretical side. But i would like to know some theory so i sort of understand what i'm doing when i do hands on work (hopefully one day). I added a couple of classes to my coursera watchlist that relate to machine learning/data science so maybe those will help me make a better decision.
     
  9. Jul 27, 2013 #8
    THose will, and you should ask the professors too for those classes if you get a chance. Knowing the theory can be a huge advantage, although my opinion is a little biased- coming from pure Math. Good luck : )
     
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