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Courses Probability or Mathematical Statistics?

  1. Oct 15, 2016 #1
    I am a Mathematics and Chemistry major with a Physics minor. I need to take one more mathematics elective course next semester. I had two picked out but both unfortunately overlap with other classes I am taking, so I am now trying to choose between Probability or Mathematical Statistics (course descriptions below). I am currently applying for Physics graduate programs, and am hoping to learn more about quantum mechanics and related branches of physics like statistical mechanics, quantum field theory, and string theory in the future. Does anyone have an opinion on which course would be most useful for understanding those subjects?

    Course Descriptions:
    Probability: Probability in discrete and continuous sample spaces; conditional probability; counting techniques; probability functions; binomial, Poisson, normal distributions; and transformations of variables.
    Mathematical Statistics: Normal, chi-square, t, and F distributions; estimation; hypothesis testing; regression and correlation; analysis of variance; nonparametric statistics; and introduction to Bayesian inference.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2016 #2
    The subjects covered in Probability are going to be most helpful in both quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. The Math statistics might (or might not) be useful when it comes to analyzing the data for your graduate thesis.
  4. Oct 15, 2016 #3


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    Both are important and I am reluctant to recommend only one of the two. But if you tend toward experimental, statistics has the edge. If you tend toward the theoretical, probability has the edge.
  5. Oct 15, 2016 #4
    How are you even allowed to take mathematical stats without probability??
  6. Oct 16, 2016 #5
    Thank you for all the advice! I was leaning towards Probability and the comments on here has strengthened my leaning towards that direction. I am interested in pursuing theoretical research in graduate school (if I'm accepted), so Probability definitely sounds like the better course to take for now.
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