What is Computer Science like?

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  1. #1
    Shadow12345
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    What is Computer Science like?

    All too quickly I am coming upon the end of my four years of high school, and guess what...COLLEGE...I am planning on taking computer science, but I wanted to know what the cs major is actually like. I'm afraid that my classes will all be bull s h i t and that I won't learn much from them. High school so far has been that way for me, the only classes I ever got anything from were English, Integrated Math, and Biology. The other half of my classes were just stupid (spanish, world history, visual basic [if you can call it a class], computer art, i can't remember any more).

    i wonder if i should just take physics as a major and learn about computers on my own.

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    im a junior at univ of north florida. i spent too much time in my first two years drinking and screwing around so im kinda behind. just starting to hit the cs courses now. so really what i am trying to say is i dont know what its like. hi hi.
    "with a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels."
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  3. #3
    Banned Troll_King's Avatar
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    It might not be a bad idea taking a lot of mathematics courses. If you want to apply that to CS though, than you'll be on the system building side along with R&D. I think that physics has less to do with computer science, but it's probably the best pure science subject. You might get more out of electrical Engineering if you become a physicist rather than CS. Choose either hardware or software, although there is overlap on both sides.

    I guess that the one thing you MIGHT not want to become is a CS student who just learns how to use vendor tools. The reason for this is that you'll always have to cater to vendors because you don't know how to build the systems yourself. You would have an easier time getting a job quickly though, but you will also be more suceptable to supply and demand trends in the economy.

    It's hard to say what to choose until you start. College or University is the best place to do this, if you can afford it. Don't go there to party ovbiously.

  4. #4
    Banned Troll_King's Avatar
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    If you can get into a College like MIT than you'll learn a hell of a lot and it won't be vendor boloney.

  5. #5
    Registered User Cruxus's Avatar
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    Looking at my choices for college, I have considered what the computer science curriculum is like. It seems that many universities group their computer science department with the school of engineering or with mathematics. Half of computer science seems to be mathematics (calculus and beyond). If you enjoy math, it seems you would enjoy computer science, too.

  6. #6
    tgm
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    Computer science developed out of mathematics and engineering degrees, that's why it's usually linked with those schools.
    Computer science is not quite like the other sciences because it closely ties thoery and application. It allows someone to have a general knowledge of computing from design to implementation, and is many times the degree that leads to research, graduate studies or education. It's a very broad degree, which allows you to choose many different careers in the industry once you're done. You get to study things like computer architecture, OS design, graphics, AI, networking, compiler/language design as well as learning multiple programming languages (low and high level) and technologies.

    I have a B.S. in Computer Systems (computer science option) and highly recommend it.
    Last edited by tgm; 09-07-2002 at 05:07 PM.

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    Registered User datainjector's Avatar
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    cs is more acadmic.We have degrees that dont bother with maths and ****ty subjects like it... BIT Bachlors in Infomation tech ..Bsc in apllied computing is a nice degree its has every thing from java to .net ...
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  8. #8
    Shadow12345
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    than you'll be on the system building side along with R&D
    it's supposed to be then, T-H-E-N

    If you can get into a College like MIT than you'll learn a hell of a lot and it won't be vendor boloney.
    I'm applying there, but I mean it is so hard to get in...something like 9% are accepted...rather humbling if you ask me, plus the 36k/year price tag...ouch...

  9. #9
    Banned Troll_King's Avatar
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    Put it this way, if you do not acquire your calculus and linear algebra, than you will not be building any systems. Those are requirements.

    MIT is probably the best CS school in the world.

  10. #10
    thug
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    Originally posted by tgm
    Computer science developed out of mathematics and engineering degrees, that's why it's usually linked with those schools.
    Computer science is not quite like the other sciences because it closely ties thoery and application. It allows someone to have a general knowledge of computing from design to implementation, and is many times the degree that leads to research, graduate studies or education. It's a very broad degree, which allows you to choose many different careers in the industry once you're done. You get to study things like computer architecture, OS design, graphics, AI, networking, compiler/language design as well as learning multiple programming languages (low and high level) and technologies.

    I have a B.S. in Computer Systems (computer science option) and highly recommend it.
    i'm a senior majoring in CS and i, too, recommend it! as tgm mentions this is a very broad area of study. after the my first couple of years i was so overwhelmed with the number of cs courses available. i mean we all take the standard core courses, most of which tgm mentions like courses in digital logic and comp. hardware organization, os design, compiler construction, software development, algorithms... on top of that we also pick like 4-5 cs/ee courses of our choice (from several other undergrad. courses; kind of like elective courses). from these i've taken ai, computer networks, and databases (i need to take 1 more lol...). but the point is, is that you will be surprised how many cs courses are avail. at the university (i think including undergrad. + grad. my school has over 50 in cs dept alone, not to mention ee). i'll be graduating next year in may and so far i feel i have learned a lot, but at the same time barely learned anything. it's kind of a funny feeling because as an undergrad. most of your courses will start with "introduction to..." so it's like you take 12-15 cs courses and maybe 4 ce courses so you feel you have learned alot, but yet barely scratched the surface of these areas.

    about the math... yeah you will probably be required to take 2 years of it but i barely used any of that stuff in my cs courses. the only math i used in my cs courses were in courses like discrete mathematics, algorithms, intro. to compilers, and maybe some portions in os design (like algorithms to avoid deadlock etc..), but actually the math you use in these courses they kind of teach you along the way... (mostly graph/set theory related stuff just to present algorithms and stuff in a formal manner, never seen any use of calc.; probably will mostly use calc. and linear algebra in comp. graphics but i've never taken comp. graphics so i wouldn't know; but actually you will use calc. in neural networks when taking ai course but that's really about it).

    anyways... you could always do physics too but in that sense you should rather study mathematics if you want to be involved in cs. only reason i say this is because 80% of my cs professors have phd in math and NOT cs.

  11. #11
    kostbill
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    to get a small idea.

    do you know anything about electronic systems?
    two major divisions are analogic electronics and digital electronics.

    of course there are more divisions that have to do only with
    paper work, mathematics. like telecommunications, theory of
    information etc.

    now, CS is something like advanced digital electronics, it has
    to do not only with computers but with embedded systems,
    microcontrollers, microprossesors, peripherals, protocols etc..
    and the most exciting thing of course is artificial intelligence ).
    you know, fuzzy logic, neural networks and all that new stuff...

    yeap, CS is good!!

    i apologize for my bad english.

  12. #12
    kostbill
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    i forgot to mention that you can make your own computer
    architecture ).

    in addition to that, search for FPGA and CPLD

  13. #13
    RoD
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    it all depends my comp science teacher uses void main (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH)

    ....hmm better to take that chance then to make minimum wage eh?

  14. #14
    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
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    >Choose either hardware or software, although there is overlap on both sides.

    Good for me I chose Hardware, eh Dean? And it turns out that to double major I'm up to choose Computer Engineering [the subsection of the Engineering Department is Electrical and Computer Engineering, so a few upper division ECE classes overlap, not to mention they have the same lower-division math's and physics'...] I haven't looked at my specialization for CE yet, but at any rate I'll be able to do it in 4 and a quarter because of my AP and Community College stuff... And also, double majoring means I'd be in more of a demand, makes sense eh?

    >to do not only with computers but with embedded systems,
    microcontrollers, microprossesors, peripherals, protocols etc..

    Then looks like I choose the right major...

    >Put it this way, if you do not acquire your calculus and linear algebra, than you will not be building any systems. Those are requirements.

    Yes, math is a tool. And some tools are necessary. [I have no beef with tools, especially this particular one, we are fine, thank you...]
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

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