As a math major who is planning on getting their PhD in mathematics, how much computer science or software engineering experience/education do I need to comfortably do research in AI, i.e., would a computer science minor suffice, or should I just teach myself as I need? And is applied mathematics the best form of math to get a PhD in for AI research?

  • $\begingroup$ Is this question on topic? $\endgroup$ – Andrej Bauer Jun 5 '19 at 21:02
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    $\begingroup$ I think you're asking the wrong question. The question is should not be "how much do I need?" but "would making my next course another math course or another computer science/software engineering course better prepare me for AI research?" (Unless you hate computer science and/or software engineering, in which case why are you trying to go into AI?) $\endgroup$ – Peter Shor Jun 6 '19 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ But remember that most other AI researchers will know computer science/software engineering, but most of them won't have advanced math courses. So if you know some areas of advanced math/applied math that are relevant, it will give you a real advantage. $\endgroup$ – Peter Shor Jun 6 '19 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ Work in AI? This is a broad subject. I know that applied mathematician with a background in PDE/Optimization (doing neural network stuff, deep learning). But there are also people with a background in term rewriting/logic work in AI (symbolic methods, from expert systems up to automated reasoning and theorem provers). And in either community you do not need the background of the other. [...] $\endgroup$ – StefanH Jun 6 '19 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ [...] And software engineering as a discipline is not the same as learning to program (this seems somehow implicit in your question). If you want use Tensor flow, simply learn Python, for example, you do not need to take a software engineering course which is a broad topic by itself. $\endgroup$ – StefanH Jun 6 '19 at 17:05

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