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Math for Data Science in One Picture: What do you REALLY need to study?

In my last blog post, I covered the statistics you need to know for data science. But of course, stats isn’t the only math related knowledge you need. Rather than offer my own biased opinion about the importance of this subject vs. that one, I performed a meta analysis of popular opinion to see what data scientists and educators are saying (see the reference list below).

The following picture shows each math area’s relative importance to data science (based on how many times it was recommended). The larger the bubble, the more people recommended that particular subject. 


Bear in mind the above list isn’t exhaustive; It’s just what was mentioned most frequently by the article authors. I’ve only included topics that got more than a couple of mentions. So, just because a field isn’t mentioned, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. I also tried to lean towards pure “math” rather than math that’s data science oriented (like bootstrapping).

If you want to know more about the topics, start here (these correspond to the largest bubbles):

Descriptive Statistics: Charts and Graphs

Probability theory: Bayes’ Theorem

Hypothesis Testing

Calculus: Functions

  1. Duke: Data Science Math Skills
  2. KU: Interested in Data Science? This is the Basic Math You Should L…
  3. Berkeley: Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs in Data …
  4. Berkely: What is Data Science
  5. Towards Data Science: Mathematics for Data Science
  6. KDNuggets: Essential Math for Data Science
  7. Essential Math for Data Science — ‘Why’ and ‘How
  8. The real prerequisite for machine learning isn’t math, it’s data an…
  9. Hamideh Iraj: Math for Data Science: Do we really need it?
  10. What maths does a data scientist need to know?
  11. Essential math for data science
  12. Mathematics behind Machine Learning – The Core Concepts you Need to…
  13. How much Math & Stats do I need on my Data Science resume?
  15. Is it possible to learn data science and machine learning without m…
  16. SIAM conference on mathematics of data science
  17. Mathematical Data Science
  18. Math for Machine Learning: Math for Aspiring Data Scientist