I want to take discrete math, data structures, and linear algebra next semester. I think I can do it. The requirements for all is only Calc 2. I plan on double majoring in math, so doing the work won't be a problem. But I was wondering from people that have actually taken the courses already, how large are the problem sets? Do you think I would have a problem with this even though I am good in math? I think that taking these 3 math courses and an intro Java class (my first after taking the 2nd class of C++ this summer) shouldn't be too bad a course load. (Even better trying to find out what schools in my area have a *nix class for the spring).

## 14 Replies - 1358 Views - Last Post: 19 April 2011 - 08:29 PM

### #1

# wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 17 April 2011 - 09:39 PM

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**Replies To:** wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

### #2

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 17 April 2011 - 09:44 PM

Data Structures I and Discrete Math aren't that bad, imo. Discrete Math is a lot more algorithmic in nature than Calc 2 or Linear Algebra. It complements Data Structures nicely, especially with the Graph Theory unit.

In terms of Data Structures, how are you with Linked Lists? From what I've seen, people struggle the most with the concept of Linked Lists, and then again to an extent with Graphs. Beyond that, it's pretty straight-forward, imo. If you're good at programming and conceptualizing/visualizing the data structures, you'll be fine.

Hope this helps some.

In terms of Data Structures, how are you with Linked Lists? From what I've seen, people struggle the most with the concept of Linked Lists, and then again to an extent with Graphs. Beyond that, it's pretty straight-forward, imo. If you're good at programming and conceptualizing/visualizing the data structures, you'll be fine.

Hope this helps some.

### #3

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 17 April 2011 - 09:55 PM

haven't got to it yet. I haven't finished my first c++ course yet, and I would have to take the 2nd part before I can enroll in the class. I plan on getting in this summer. Thanx for clearing that up though. Budgets have been slashed, so I might have to do some driving around to get to classes I really want to get outa the way before I try to transfer to university here in so cal.

### #4

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 18 April 2011 - 03:56 AM

I took Linear Algebra last semester and at my university the course is divided into Linear Algebra I and Linear Algebra II. Linear Algebra I introduces you to vectors and matrices and is pretty basic stuff with the harder part of the semester for most people being vectors. I understand that vectors are covered in Physics so if you've ever taken a physics course and done well on the vectors section then you should be golden.

Linear Algebra II on the other hand, according to my professor, is a lot more theoretical in nature (as opposed to Linear Algebra I which is very computational). My understanding is that you will spend a lot more time in Linear Algebra II covering proofs (which I'm not really a fan of). In Linear Algebra I we did a fair amount of proofs but they were mostly just to show up how things come about and there was only 1 or 2 proofs on each test. I had the misfortune of having a total of 5 proofs on my final.

I didn't find Linear Algebra to be that difficult. My problem sets usually took me 2-3 hours on average. Perhaps you would like to check out this Linear Algebra course offered by MIT. It has video lectures, readins, assignments and exams.

Linear Algebra II on the other hand, according to my professor, is a lot more theoretical in nature (as opposed to Linear Algebra I which is very computational). My understanding is that you will spend a lot more time in Linear Algebra II covering proofs (which I'm not really a fan of). In Linear Algebra I we did a fair amount of proofs but they were mostly just to show up how things come about and there was only 1 or 2 proofs on each test. I had the misfortune of having a total of 5 proofs on my final.

I didn't find Linear Algebra to be that difficult. My problem sets usually took me 2-3 hours on average. Perhaps you would like to check out this Linear Algebra course offered by MIT. It has video lectures, readins, assignments and exams.

### #5

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:35 PM

Depends on how tough your curriculum is and how prepared you are. It could be easy, or could be very tough. On a side note, I thought Discrete Math is usually taken before Data Structures?

### #6

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:50 PM

The only pre requisite for it is a 2nd course in c++ or java, and calc II. I have taken the calculus sequence before, but it was years ago before I joined the military. Now I am in a computer sci program, but dont want to take classes over I can review on my own. technically you can take them at the same time if you have taken the programming class.

its a moot point though, i think i will take a C and intro Java course this summer, as the 2nd class in C++ I need wont be offered..looks like I wont be able to take data structures after all.

its a moot point though, i think i will take a C and intro Java course this summer, as the 2nd class in C++ I need wont be offered..looks like I wont be able to take data structures after all.

### #7

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:53 PM

See which languages they're using for data structures. Go over it in the summer and take the course in the Fall. I bet you only need to know the basics of the language. In my experience, many courses tend to overstate some of their prerequisites.

### #8

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:59 PM

Nikitin, on 19 April 2011 - 06:53 PM, said:

See which languages they're using for data structures. Go over it in the summer and take the course in the Fall. I bet you only need to know the basics of the language. In my experience, many courses tend to overstate some of their prerequisites.

Thats good advice... but I would probably have to get an add code from the instructor to see if he will add me. I'm pretty much learning it on my own anyway, since I am taking it online. I will just go through the book!

### #9

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:02 PM

Nikitin, on 19 April 2011 - 09:35 PM, said:

Depends on how tough your curriculum is and how prepared you are. It could be easy, or could be very tough. On a side note, I thought Discrete Math is usually taken before Data Structures?

I thought this was Data Structures II, though. Discrete Math is hardly required for Data Structures I. There's just the basic Big-O, a little hashing depending on the school, and basic Graph Theory.

### #10

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:11 PM

There is no Data Structures II at my school, so I'm judging it from a different standpoint. The first homework for my DS course was a pretty thorough check for Discrete Math knowledge.

### #11

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:13 PM

Must be the school then. Most of the curricula I've seen introduce Linked Lists, Stacks, Queues, Deques, Sets, Maps, Graphs, Trees, Big-O, Hashing, and basic searching and sorting in Data Structures I. Data Structures II covers the more advanced trees, hashing, graphs, and algorithms.

### #12

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:27 PM

yes, I would be taking Intro to data structures specifically.

### #13

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:42 PM

Linked Lists, searches, Big-O is covered in intro CS. Data Structures class covers a bunch of them (splay trees, kd-trees, self-balancing trees, disjoint data structures considered advanced?). Next course focuses solely on algorithms though. Both require math, though data structures usually just needs you to be comfortable with proofs.

### #14

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:15 PM

Most schools aren't like that, I don't believe. I think the intro to programming/cs classes most closely resemble the AP Computer Science course. Sort of an intro to the language, maybe a little searching and sorting. Nothing major. Personally, I think it's great that your school does a lot more in the intro class. Imo, a lot of schools spread things out more b/c of time constraints and that a lot of people in that class haven't programmed before and have trouble with the material.

Anyways, we digress off-topic a little.

Anyways, we digress off-topic a little.

### #15

## Re: wondering if I should take 3 CS math courses in 1 sem

Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:29 PM

nah, its good. I like to see beforehand what the hell I need to learn lol. Each school is different and depends if they are on the quarter or semester sequence. Thats why I am trying to get a feel for what I can and cannot take before the classes start. In southern california there are a lot of schools you can enroll in, and if I need to take an extra class, but at another location, isnt that much of an issue for me since I'm deciding not to get a job. I just wanna beef up my skills so I can get the skills (and knowledge) necessary for a programming or developer internship.

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