Another physicist going into statistics...

Hello all! I just recently found this forum and am excited about how useful this will be for me!

I have been accepted to a Statistics Department to start my Masters Degree this Fall, and I have to admit I am a little nervous!

I received my BS in Physics from a small college, took a year of graduate coursework in Geophysics and have been working as a data processor/analyst/manager for the past several years. I love my job, but I recognize that to move ahead and excel, I need to have a higher degree.

I have weighed the pros and cons and think I have decided to quit my job and start school full time (student loans, here I come!). The program would finish in 18 months if I did it full time, or it would take me 6 years to do it one class at a time. It's a scary idea, but I think it is for the best.

Anyway, do you know of any helpful resources that could get my brain back to thinking in numbers and equations? I am definitely nervous about this path I have chosen since I have only ever taken one actual statistics course (elementary statistics... go ahead and laugh!). I have taken lots of other math courses though, (Calc I, II, III; Linear Algebra; DE; and PDE) and physics courses that should help (Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, etc.).

I just found the other books that have been recommended on other posts, but can you think of anything that I just HAVE to have?! Do you have any other advice?


TS Contributor
i suggest look for david olive's lecture notes, he teaches at the univesrity of minessota. the introduction to statistical theory.


Ambassador to the humans
Linear algebra is very important so brushing up on that wouldn't be a bad idea. But it sounds like you're probably pretty good with that with the background you have. What program are you going to? Or if you don't want to answer that do you know if the program is more applied or theoretical?