11 Replies - 1549 Views - Last Post: 03 June 2012 - 10:26 PM

#1 timkd127  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 2
  • View blog
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: 27-February 10

Academic CS?

Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:21 PM

I started programming in high school out of interest. I loved it immediately. It combines math and logic to create an almost artistic way to solve complex problems, and do some pretty leet shit also. I am now finishing my BS in CS and noticed something around half way through my junior year i was wondering if anyone else experienced. Academic CS is awful. Save for a few classes college managed to take something i love and make it dry, boring, and generally mind numbing. Without sites like gamasutra and DIC I think college may have killed my interest and love of programming. I was sitting here wondering if anyone else shares a similar experience.

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Academic CS?

#2 KYA  Icon User is offline

  • g++ jameson.cpp -o beverage
  • member icon

Reputation: 3106
  • View blog
  • Posts: 19,145
  • Joined: 14-September 07

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:25 PM

The issue there is that pure CS has nothing to do with developing software. It's applied math, which is great and useful when used towards something.

I totally agree though, after hearing about a quasi-stable algorithm according to some approximating criteria...zzzzzzzzz. I like to take that information and do something with it, implement it.



*Moving to the student campus for actual discussion*
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict

Reputation: 49
  • View blog
  • Posts: 523
  • Joined: 21-February 10

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 11 May 2012 - 07:07 AM

I think many colleges are considering re-vamping CS to be more technology based and less applied mathematics. Traditionally schools have done this by creating a CS major and then a CIS major or (Computer Information Systems major) that some schools combine with business/ or strict tech classes.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 peace_fixation  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 45
  • View blog
  • Posts: 198
  • Joined: 01-November 11

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:04 AM

I agree to some extent, but I think the CS theory is important too. It's one thing to write an application, it's another to write an efficient, bug free implementation that uses a good algorithm to accomplish a task with some finesse. My DB class is boring as hell this semester, but it's important stuff, how to make an index on a dataset, how to implement a join operation on two tables efficiently, how to optimize queries (all in C mind you!)

Some of the maths classes are really tough, I'm in struggle-town with linear algebra and vector calc this semester, and I'm pretty certain I won't be using this stuff day-to-day when I get a job, but I like to think all the brain bending is going to pay off in other ways. It's all good problem solving practise, and I'd rather be learning how to evaluate surface integrals and implement path finding algorithms than 'How To Write A Text Editor In Java'. I see the programming as secondary to the general problem solving. I have a lot of programming still to learn, I guess I always will, but I've found that I can usually pick up what I need as I need it, as the problem dictates, and I'm getting better at picking a good solution.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 timkd127  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 2
  • View blog
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: 27-February 10

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:02 AM

O yea i definitely see its importance, and i do like math a lot so the calc and discrete wasnt bad. But outside of OS design, systems programming, and a few other courses the delivery of the material was just so dry. It may have just been my professors but trying to stay awake in classes like principles or data organization was a challenge
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 jmd_  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 2
  • View blog
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 12-May 12

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:05 PM

Having taken some graduate level CS classes, I tend to agree with this. I especially hate it when MIT's OCW videos are superior to the stuff that the professor teaches. It's basically a waste of money and time to go to class at that point. Besides Discrete Math, most math classes are irrelevant unless you go into some kind of specialty area like graphics or scientific computing. I have a math background myself and I have yet to see anything that would require math beyond linear algebra.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

  • The Ninjaducky
  • member icon



Reputation: 2874
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,047
  • Joined: 15-July 08

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:37 PM

My university strives to give you the theoretical knowledge as well as the applied knowledge so that you don't simply learn the boring, algorithm stuff all day - you learn how to apply it to real problems in a real domain.

As an example, I have to choose two out of 8 possible CS degrees based on the domain that I'm interested in:
http://www.cc.gatech...es/bscs/threads

For example, I'm doing Theory and Modeling, which means that I would apply those algorithms towards a supercomputing/scientific domain rather than simply learning about applied math. That's one reason why I love this program so much! (GaTech actually ranked higher on my choice list than MIT did).
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 timkd127  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 2
  • View blog
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: 27-February 10

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:50 AM

View PostDogstopper, on 12 May 2012 - 07:37 PM, said:

My university strives to give you the theoretical knowledge as well as the applied knowledge so that you don't simply learn the boring, algorithm stuff all day - you learn how to apply it to real problems in a real domain.

As an example, I have to choose two out of 8 possible CS degrees based on the domain that I'm interested in:
http://www.cc.gatech...es/bscs/threads

For example, I'm doing Theory and Modeling, which means that I would apply those algorithms towards a supercomputing/scientific domain rather than simply learning about applied math. That's one reason why I love this program so much! (GaTech actually ranked higher on my choice list than MIT did).


Wow thats awesome, especially since CS encompasses so many different things. At my school (University at Albany) we only have 3, and the differences are really either getting a BA with a minor (no thanks) or replacing some upper level math courses with upper level physics.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

  • The Ninjaducky
  • member icon



Reputation: 2874
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,047
  • Joined: 15-July 08

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:37 PM

Yeah, I love GaTech so much! If I take the theory/Platforms combination, that is as close to your "standard, vanilla" CS program. But people really interested in robotics could do Devices/Platforms or Devices/Intelligence. Scientific Computing could be Modeling/Theory or Modeling/Intelligence (what I want to do).
It's not JUST the theory for me. Yes, theory is absolutely important in a changing world, BUT, knowing how to apply theory is useful as well.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 Gungnir  Icon User is offline

  • Your Imaginary Friend

Reputation: 152
  • View blog
  • Posts: 527
  • Joined: 21-May 11

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 27 May 2012 - 08:53 AM

Programming marries discipline with creativity.

I'm currently doing a B.Tech in CS. I agree that it's very dry and boring, but think of the good that will come of it!

We'll all be financially secure, white collar, middle class citizens.

Society will be so... Tolerant.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular

Reputation: 38
  • View blog
  • Posts: 321
  • Joined: 21-October 11

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:53 PM

Academic CS is very boring. However, I definitely see that it has a rightful place in what I want to do. When I want to make things, i always think about the data structure I'm going to use that will make my life easier, I always think of the proper algorithm that wont make me rewrite the code later on.

Taking DS & Algorithms was very useful, and I really liked the emphasis on pointers as it really opened up new doors for me.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 jjl  Icon User is offline

  • Engineer
  • member icon

Reputation: 1086
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,562
  • Joined: 09-June 09

Re: Academic CS?

Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:26 PM

I could't handle CS. It is painfully boring and wanted to doing something more "applied", therefore I switched to computer engineering :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1