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Stats vs Proofs/Logic Math

  1. Jan 21, 2016 #1
    I am a physics major deciding between taking either Statistics or Foundations of Higher Mathematics this semester.

    Neither are major requirments. Foundations of Higher Math covers logic, set theory, proofs, number systems, and some basic analysis. Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis covers a large range of basic to advanced topics in statistics (alternatively, there are lower level stats options, but I think those are for non-STEM majors).

    Which would be more useful for a future in physics/grad school? I planned on foundations at first because it was a prereq for a second semester of linear algebra, but I plan on taking PDEs instead.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2016 #2
    What do you see your future in grad school like? What topics? etc.
  4. Jan 21, 2016 #3
    My undregrad research focuses on astrophysics, but I am becoming more interested in quantum after a few semesters of coursework.
  5. Jan 21, 2016 #4


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    If you ever see yourself working with a large set of data and what to say something meaningful about that data, go with statistics. If you never want or plan to see real data, then ignore statistics. Personally if you go the second route, i'll be happy. People like that often pay me an insane amount of money to do a t-test :).
  6. Jan 21, 2016 #5
    OK, anything more specific? Are you interested in very mathematical physics? Theoretical physics? Or something very experimental?
    If you're going with the experimental route, then statistics is always the better option. If you're planning to do a lot of math in the future, then the foundations will be more appropriate.
  7. Jan 21, 2016 #6
    I see what you mean. Unfortunately, I am unsure which I prefer as all my research has been theoretical and I am unsure if I would enjou experimental.
  8. Jan 21, 2016 #7
    I agree that stats will be important no matter what I end up researching. I think I am leaning towards that. I'm just wondering if anyone found proof based math or logic useful in physics.
  9. Jan 21, 2016 #8
    Of course it can be useful in physics. A whole lot depends on where you end up in. Since you clearly don't know that yet, I don't think there's much meaningful advice we can give you.
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