Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

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#1 Magiculs  Icon User is offline

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Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:32 PM

Hey everyone, I don't really know how else to put this but, I want to go to college for Computer Science as I want to do something that revolves around Computer Programming when I get older, the thing is that I'm not great at math, like I pass usually with B's and C's, should I just stop this dream now and focus on like Networking or Computer Hardware? Thanks in advance.
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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:53 PM

I guess if you want to give up then sure - fall back to the networking side. On the other hand I would suggest looking at what perspective colleges you may be attending, finding their required degree courses, and eyeballing what math they would like you to have... and then, and this will be the twist of it all, study.

Study more math.. quite slacking through it and grind some pencil lead and crack those books. Average to a bit of above average in math is a world away from failing it.. and while you categorize yourself as "not great" that means you are better than "not good"... so study. Shocker around, right? If you don't want to study then sure - better find alternative career paths now and program as hobby. Though if you do want to come out of a university with a comp sci degree you better work at it.
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#3 Magiculs  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:59 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 02 March 2013 - 10:53 PM, said:

I guess if you want to give up then sure - fall back to the networking side. On the other hand I would suggest looking at what perspective colleges you may be attending, finding their required degree courses, and eyeballing what math they would like you to have... and then, and this will be the twist of it all, study.

Study more math.. quite slacking through it and grind some pencil lead and crack those books. Average to a bit of above average in math is a world away from failing it.. and while you categorize yourself as "not great" that means you are better than "not good"... so study. Shocker around, right? If you don't want to study then sure - better find alternative career paths now and program as hobby. Though if you do want to come out of a university with a comp sci degree you better work at it.


Thanks for the speedy reply, I appreciate it. There is a college nearby and these are the technology classes that they provide:

  • Computer Science
  • Software Application Development
  • Cyber Security
  • Information Technology Management
  • Information Systems Management
    - Computer Information Technology
    - Database Administration
    - Network Administration
    - Network Security
    - Web Programming
  • Game and Simulation Programming


I have no idea what one I would pick.
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:06 AM

Those are not the course outlines... find a matriculation form or degree requirements. As for what to pick - that's up to you. Random people on the internet do not know you, personally enough, nor have a crystal ball to see where you should go. That's the joy of college. Make a choice and go with it.. Hopefully, if you don't like it, you can switch majors.

The other option, and I'll scope a few before they can recommend it, the USFG has some great branches of the military that will help provide answers and guidance on what to do and when to do it. ;)

Example:
http://www.ist.unoma...bscsmatform.pdf
http://www.cs.columb...ation/undergrad
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#5 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:22 AM

I make a living programming. When I went to school CS was the ONLY option. I got a minor in it and squeezed through the math requirement for that. I am not a math guy. ( This is partially related to dyslexia; computers are nice enough to tell me when I screwed up somewhere and can't see it. )

Programming itself is not usually math heavy. You can work in math heavy applications, like games and such, but the actual logic of code it pretty basic.

Today, Computer Science is probably even more theory. This is because there are other options related to the field of software engineering. If you don't want the math, CS should be the last option you look at. Pure math majors often minor in CS because they have half the perquisites already.
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#6 Magiculs  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 09:17 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 03 March 2013 - 02:06 AM, said:

Those are not the course outlines... find a matriculation form or degree requirements. As for what to pick - that's up to you. Random people on the internet do not know you, personally enough, nor have a crystal ball to see where you should go. That's the joy of college. Make a choice and go with it.. Hopefully, if you don't like it, you can switch majors.

The other option, and I'll scope a few before they can recommend it, the USFG has some great branches of the military that will help provide answers and guidance on what to do and when to do it. ;)/>

Example:
http://www.ist.unoma...bscsmatform.pdf
http://www.cs.columb...ation/undergrad


Sorry for the misunderstanding, I just meant to say that was all of the Majors they offered. Here is the college and the requirements for a Bachelors Degree in CS.

http://www.rasmussen...ence/bachelors/
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#7 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 09:35 AM

You're probably better at math than you think. And you don't need to be a math wiz to be a programmer. If you have a very deep, practical understanding of algebra and trig, you should be able to do a lot with a computer. Only give up on programming if you are incapable of learning math. You can learn as you go. I think people have this misguided idea that one's ability to do math directly correlates with his IQ. In reality, I'm fairly certain that cockroaches can do math. And computers can, too. It's just numbers. What is important is your creativity and ability to solve problems (sometimes using math). You really just need to have a solid understanding of the basics, and you can solve lots of problems using math to your advantage.
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#8 Magiculs  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

Next year I am taking Pre-Calculus, I hope I can get a strong understanding for it. All of the programmers I have talked to said that Calculus would be my best bet.
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 10:13 AM

If you look at the course list from that link you will notice calc I and II are on there as required... and so is probability and statistics, applied discrete math, pre-calc, and another math/hard science class of your choice.
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#10 Magiculs  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 10:49 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 03 March 2013 - 10:13 AM, said:

If you look at the course list from that link you will notice calc I and II are on there as required... and so is probability and statistics, applied discrete math, pre-calc, and another math/hard science class of your choice.


Yeah so I'll be dealing a lot with math, the biggest thing that is hard for me is Geometry, but I am not feeling 100% about taking all of those other math classes.
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#11 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:25 AM

Then study. Plain and simple. Study more until you hit that comfort zone.
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#12 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:06 PM

View PostMagiculs, on 03 March 2013 - 12:02 PM, said:

All of the programmers I have talked to said that Calculus would be my best bet.


Odd. They're wrong. Or, rather, Calculus is really not a biggie for programming in general.

Now, if you want to do Lisp, Lambda Calculus is where it's at. And, by extension, most functional programming. But, for traditional stuff, not really. And, strangely, you don't have to know any lambda calc to write a lisp program, either.

Linear algebra, which can be mixed with calc or not, depending on your bend, is a must for games. But, again, for general programming, not so much.

Curiously, Geometry is the closest to general programming you might get in a basic math course. Geometric proofs are essentially little programming tasks. You are given a starting point, an ending point, and a "programming" language with which to get there.

Honestly, don't let math scare you from programming. The best skill you can have with computers is learning new things on your own. Math is often presented poorly; just consider another exercise in self teaching.
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#13 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:06 PM

From the link you presented, the math requirement is pretty light. You don't have to take Calc III or Diff Eqs. Beyond that, everything is pretty standard.

I'm an Applied Discrete Math major (Math with a CS focus, essentially), and I hated Geometry. I don't think visually, which is my problem. Triple integrals in Calc III were tough for me until I figured out how to do them analytically. All of my other math courses could be done analytically.

Before you write CS off for math, take the Discrete Math course. It's a course that polarizes people. By that, I mean that some people get it and do well, and others don't. Programming is the same way. Consequently, programmers tend to do well in Discrete Math. It will also give you some exposure to abstract math, which is less number crunching. High school math courses aren't known for providing a lot of this structure.

Quote

Curiously, Geometry is the closest to general programming you might get in a basic math course. Geometric proofs are essentially little programming tasks. You are given a starting point, an ending point, and a "programming" language with which to get there.

I think you may have liked the upper-level math courses more than the lower-level courses. A lot of advanced math is very proofs-intensive. It's more thinking and abstract/idea oriented, and less number crunching.

Quote

Honestly, don't let math scare you from programming. The best skill you can have with computers is learning new things on your own. Math is often presented poorly; just consider another exercise in self teaching.

This. I couldn't have said it better myself.
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#14 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:44 PM

I resent that you think Networking is an easier out, or a less math approach Modi... If you're doing it right it can be substantially more intensive, especially in statistics, data mining, and combinetrics.

Disregarding that, I'm far more of an artist than I ever was a mathematician. I despised math, ended up barely passing with C's all the time. I wanted to be a musician, a writer, or an artist. Heck, after I was introduced to programming in VB I even disliked that. I just wanted to be a web designer and never right a single bit of code.

Then I got hired as a Net Tech. I only wanted to do art and design but that wasn't much of an option. They wanted me to pick a language to learn to automate some things on the network, so I picked Ruby. Slowly I started to enjoy programming, quite a bit. It came naturally, and with it I started noticing that half of the algorithms I'd been inventing and deriving were actually based in discrete and combinetric math.

The deeper I got into programming in networking, the more I understood math intuitively as a result. It just happened. Now mind you this was over the course of a year, which is still fairly quick all things considered.

The thing was, I naturally understood math, but due to tedious busywork and bad teachers I detested it and began to take that as I was horridly bad at it. (Whenever your teacher does fill in the blank formula styles of tests, I would say that's a poor job of teaching...)
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#15 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Not Good At Math Wanting To Be CS Major

Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:07 PM

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I resent that you think Networking is an easier out, or a less math approach Modi... If you're doing it right it can be substantially more intensive, especially in statistics, data mining, and combinetrics.

Naw.. no need to be resenting anything... just a half assed joke wrapped in what the OP's already stated perceptions are. ;)
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