5 Replies - 949 Views - Last Post: 01 August 2012 - 08:37 PM

#1 rainbows007  Icon User is offline

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General CS major help

Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:10 PM

Hello! I am going to be a freshman in college and am majoring in CS. I did have a couple of questions. First I'll tell you the story. I have been introduced and done basic coding in all the following languages: Java, html, xhtml, php, objective c, and very little javascript. My high school did not offer many CS classes, and of those they were nearly all web (where I learned html, php and the little javascript). I bought some books and looked into and learned some of the basics of objective c. Java I did learn in school but it was programming a robot on an application, so I learned the structure of Java. My main question is, going into CS, what should I be doing to prepare? Which language should I focus on the most? I feel as if I have a basic understanding of programming but I could be doing more to comprehend better for when I get to classes. Any help is appreciated!

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Replies To: General CS major help

#2 mostyfriedman  Icon User is offline

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Re: General CS major help

Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:29 PM

The introductory language you'll be using at school is dependent on the school, but there's a very high chance it will be either Java or C++. Anywayz, if you know the basics of programming, it should be simple to pick up a new language. So you can focus on any language you like right now, I recommend Java for now though. I'd also advise you to brush up on your math and problem solving skills as well.

This post has been edited by mostyfriedman: 31 July 2012 - 10:31 PM

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#3 rainbows007  Icon User is offline

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Re: General CS major help

Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:48 PM

Thanks very much for the reply! What would you recommend to get started learning java? I have learned the structure but not much else. Also, any recommendations for math? I have completed calc 1 and am gonna move to calc 2 this freshman year, and I know that I really do need to review some.
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#4 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: General CS major help

Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:23 PM

In the intro courses calc won't be necessary. In fact you probably won't use much more than basic algebra until you get to classes like algorithms, numerical computation, etc. At that point linear algebra, matrix methods, and calc 1-2 will be useful to have under your belt (if for nothing else than you don't have to teach yourself the math while programming it).

In general you are probably already ahead of the curve. I know that the majority of students coming into CS haven't programmed a day in their life so any understanding you have will put you ahead of the majority.

I would suggest getting the basics down pat (types, arrays, casting, looping, conditionals, functions, pointers (this is a C/C++ thing but if your class teaches in C/C++ you will at least have a unit on this), sorting methods, recursive functions). Then if you have time start looking at some more difficult things (class structure, inheritance, interfaces, good design, protected-private-public member variables/ functions, linked lists, matrices, trees).

If you can get all the things I have listed as basic down before you start your college career you should be able to breeze through the first course (at least that is all you need in CU's 1300 course which I have TAed for 2 semesters). If you can get through all the "more difficult" stuff I listed, then the second course (data structures) should also be pretty simple.

Hopefully that helps give you something to move towards over the summer.
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#5 mostyfriedman  Icon User is offline

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Re: General CS major help

Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:34 PM

Hmm, who deleted my second post?
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#6 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: General CS major help

Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:37 PM

Probably nobody. There was some fun with the forums falling pray to some malicious content earlier which caused some posts to not be saved. More info here. I was actually a little shocked to see that my post made it through the ordeal. I fully expected to have to repost it.
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