Doing a research degree in IT?

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  1. #1
    Registered User khpuce's Avatar
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    Doing a research degree in IT?

    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering whether it is possible to do a research degree (e.g. M.Phil, Ph.D) in IT without involving with complex mathematics. I've been googling around for some time but so far what I've found that all existing/prospective research projects (in universities) involve serious mathematics. I would like to have a research degree but unfortunately maths are certainly not my strongest area

    Does it mean that I have no hope of having a research degree in IT ?

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    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
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    Maybe you could swing that in Information Systems, but I'm skeptical that you could do it in CS.

    Have you considered Business with a concentration in MIS? That might be possible without much math.

    Really, though, I can't imagine someone working in any of the sciences without a strong basis in mathematics. Even Psych majors need plenty of Statistics.

    What is it you want to research in CS that you think won't require mathematics?

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    Registered User khpuce's Avatar
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    Well...as per my understanding, doing a research means specializing in any one area. So, what I assume that it could be anything I am interested in. For example, it could be specializing in database design, internet security, software testing procedures...things like that. I am quite comfortable with programming (C/Java/VB etc.). As long it is related with computers, I am happy with it. But, as I said before, I haven't find any such things offered by universities I've looked upon so far.

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    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Pretty much any graduate level science degree is going to require a bit of math. Its just the nature of the beast.

    Lets take the three things you mentioned (database design, internet security, software testing). All three require a good deal of math:
    Database design: How would you know which method has the best case, worst case, and mean case and when to switch between them to optimize without math?
    Internet Security: Internet Security == encryption most of the time. Encryption == math, lots of it at a high level
    Software Testing: Aka verification. One Word: proofs

    You man not need the higher level maths to do them but the courses teaches you how to approach the problems and adds more tools to your bag. You may never due an intergration but you'll probably use some of the skills you learn in the classes.

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    Registered User khpuce's Avatar
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    Thanks Thantos.

    I don't mind if some maths are involved in the research, I believe that I can handle that But, when I look into different universities' M.Phil projects, most of the them require higher level maths and many times I can't even pronounce the topics properly, let alone understanding them

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    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
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    Although research degrees require a higher level of specialization, your department is still going to want you to have some familiarity with most of the field. For PhDs, this means taking a large, comprehensive test on your field, the name of which I can't for the life of me remember currently.
    FAQ

    "The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs." -- Joseph Weizenbaum.

    "If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it." -- Richard Pattis.

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