Advice on distance learning and grad schools

Hello All,

I would like to pursue further education in machine learning/ statistics. The most probable option for me would be to earn a distance learning degree.

I have a background in mechanical and chemical engineering. For my masters degree I studied non-linear regression and a few other machine-learning techniques. My interest lies in modeling and prediction of industrial processes for purposes of optimal control systems and process improvements.

So here come the questions:

1) Is it better to go for a degree in machine learning (I already have bit of experience with computer science and have taken machine learning classes), or should I go for a degree in statistics. I have basic exposure to statistics from my basic engineering classes and ML stuff, along with a pretty strong math background so I am sure I could make the switch to either. Which will prepare me the best for what I want to do? Are there schools that have programs with a mix of both?

2) What accredited schools have distance learning programs that I should look in to?

I have got all sorts of ideas swimming around in my mind. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

- IzRey
Even in no-one is aware of schools, advice on which discipline (ML or Stats) to follow would be nice.

Thanks again for any advice!!
There is a distance learning thread about three message threads below this one. I'd suggest to read through it. My personal biased opinion is stats. Machine learning you can google the arguments for and against it there are multiple things written on the two but maybe someone has a decent or recen academic paper on it.

I posted the following in thaw thread but please reply in that thread in case others are interested:

In addition to Colorado State........Texas A&M, Penn State, and Stanford all have online programs. I believe Texas A&M is only for US citizens. And Stanford's is geared towards data mining.....I don't know that much about them only looked at them briefly. I don't know if they are all only for US citizens.


Doesn't actually exist
no idea about the graduate schools but stats will always be the way (lol). depending on how much effort one is willing to put on the computer science part of it, a statistics degree can get you a lot of programming skills while understanding how to apply those skills and why they work. from your background it seems to me that you already know enough computer programming, so statistical theory would be the best complement to tackle any machine learning problem.

the few times i've sat in machine learning courses (although INCREDIBLY interesting) i did realise it seemed as if they were trying to rush through the statistical theory part so they could jump into the computer applications. if you go to an ML program with a solid foundation in stats backing you up, i think everything should run smoothly...


Ninja say what!?!
I agree with spunky. The machine learning part becomes easy once you know the stats. To me, going the stats route will likely set you up better to understand what you're doing.