I'm currently looking into switching my degree program from Applied Math to Statistics. That being said there are some courses which I view in my university's Applied Math program that are not requirements to Statistics majors.

Would Math.SE be an appropriate place to ask about the nature of certain math courses and their relevance to certain specializations. Or does Math.SE only deal with isolated Mathematical Problems on their own?



2 Answers 2


There is a particular close reason:

«Seeking personal advice. Questions about choosing a course, academic program, career path, etc. are off-topic. Such questions should be directed to those employed by the institution in question, or other qualified individuals who know your specific circumstances.»

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    $\begingroup$ That is certainly a close reason, but a more sympathetic reading of the OP would highlight this part: "Would Math.SE be an appropriate place to ask about the nature of certain math courses and their relevance to certain specializations[?]" $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ @hardmath Even then, there is a big distinction between "math course" and "math subject". The former connotes "when I took this course" and whence "opinionated". In any case I would consider the mapping of subject to course so specific to a certain university that it would be hard to give universal qualifications of any real value. (Former) Lecturers will be able to give a much more tailored account of the relevance of certain courses to certain specialisations. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 15:28

It might be difficult to give a good answer to your question, but I have a couple of remarks that might help.

First, applications of mathematics is on-topic. There is a tag for this ().

I think that asking about how specific courses at your university are relevant for specializations would be too difficult to answer. I think that you would be in danger of asking a question that would be heavy dependent of personal opinions or a question that no one (except someone from your university) would be able to answer (so it might be closed as not a real question.)

You might also run into problem of your question being too broad when asking about the general use of a topic. (For example see this closed question.)

You also want to be careful that you don't just solicit opinions. What courses are essential to a career path/specialization I think would depend too much on opinion. If you do want to ask this question, I suggest making it very clear what you specifically want to do.

There are several questions still open that basically asks about a real life application of a topic. And this seems to be similar to your question. See for example

An idea could be to look through the above (still open) questions to see if you can formulate your question in a similar fashion. Now, I do note that the above questions are all old and some might say that these questions should be closed.

Also, the following older meta thread might be helpful: http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/10366/on-the-reception-of-real-world-application-questions

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    $\begingroup$ To add to your real life applications list, let me shamelessly suggest my question about real life applications of finite group theory. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexanderGruber: Done. $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 12:01

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