What's the difference between these newer computational science PhD programs and PhD programs in the traditional math, physics, cs, and engineering depts?
From checking out a few of these CSE programs online, it seems that they are programs, and not departments, in general, so that the programs have faculty with different home departments.
The interdisciplinary nature of these programs sounds appealing but I wonder if it's better to land up at a traditional engineering dept or a math dept, etc.?
For example, here's some material from Stanford's CSE program:
Ask Big Questions.
Solve Big Problems.
Doctoral Program We develop innovative computational and mathematical approaches for complex engineering and scientific problems, attracting talented PhD students from across the globe. Advised in research by more than 50 faculty from 20-plus departments, PhD students are immersed in a wide variety of fields including statistics and data science, machine and deep learning, control, optimization, numerical analysis, applied mathematics, high-performance computing, earth sciences, flow physics, graphics, bioengineering, genomics, economics and financial mathematics, molecular dynamics, and many more. PhD graduates find outstanding positions in industry and national laboratories as well as in academia.
The last sentence seems that the CSE program is more aimed to prepare their PhD graduates for work in industry, with academic jobs not being the primary goal.