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#1 tariq1212  Icon User is offline

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Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:35 AM

Hi guys, I am new to this forum so before I start, would like to say Hi.

On to my problem. I want to major in computer science because I tried programming and absolutely loved it. I like how I can make my own programs like Microsoft word or even automate anything I do internet marketing which is my current hobby.

I found out that the only way I can come out and be a software developer or work in the game industry and still make good money is through majoring in computer science . But I blow at math, always hated it because I used to struggled so hard in high school before I got B's.

Anyway, I feel like the reason I hated math was because of my laziness. I feel like I should pull up my pants and STUDY HARD for this major because it is worth it. But the confusing part is, I don't know where to start. It will be stupid of me to just start learning any kind of math.

It would be helpful to be as specific as possible. Like talking to a baby :D


This is where I need your experience and smarts to do the talking. Please help me?

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Replies To: Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:37 AM

Moved to Student Campus.

Have you looked at the degree requirements for the colleges you want to attend? Those are good places to start.

I have a blog entry talking about math courses you should take.
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#3 tariq1212  Icon User is offline

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Re: Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:39 AM

Thank you so much for your super fast reply. I realize I made some grammatical and spelling mistakes so please ignore them. Thanks
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#4 peace_fixation  Icon User is offline

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Re: Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

Posted 24 September 2013 - 07:39 AM

Brush up / dive in / drown (!) in discrete math and calc I-II. These are the introductory maths courses at college level. Discrete math is a really fun course, you touch on a lot of things, nothing super deep, but it's a great starting point for everything else you will learn, both in maths and CS. Do well in it, and you will reap benefits later on, it's worth studying hard and really grasping each concept. Calc I isn't hard but it's not easy either. Take notes. Work problems. Get very familiar with log, e^x, and the trig identities. Try Khan Academy on if you don't know it, I went there for a crash course in calculus and it sorted me out :)

From there, if you start to get a good handle on things, calc III, linear algebra, combinatorics, there's loads to learn, and it's all good.

Quote

But the confusing part is, I don't know where to start. It will be stupid of me to just start learning any kind of math.


It's all related man, and worth learning, you can't really start in the wrong place. You will quickly find out when things are beyond you, but it's still good to bang your head against things for a while.

Here's a thing. Project Euler. A whole load of mathy programming problems. See if you can do the first 10. You can use whatever language or program you want, or just pencil and paper. Some of them are quite easy. Some are deceptively hard. Some are obviously hard. Some (many, most) of them have very efficient and simple solutions that you will have to research. My method is to pick a new problem and play around with it on paper for a little while. Sometimes I can work out a solution. Other times I might head on over to Wikipedia and get a feel for what kind of problem it is, maybe (of course!) there is a cool way to do it. You'll get a feel for 'computational complexity', or how 'hard' a problem is to compute. Some of these problems could tie up your computer for a million years to find a solution in the obvious, brute force way. But there happens to be another way that takes 234 milliseconds. :)
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#5 Hqtitan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:35 PM

I hated math with a passion all through junior high and high school. I was terrible at it, even though I would work for hours on my assignments. I would turn them in and take the tests, struggling to just get that B, and I never fully understood any of it. Computer science wasn't my first choice in a major, one reason being my absolute hatred of math.

My computer science program requires Calculus I and Discrete Mathematics. I was really apprehensive about taking these two classes because of how much I struggled in high school, but I have found that getting into these classes after my introductory programming classes has really helped me. I can draw connections between what I'm learning in math classes and what I have learned and am currently learning in my computer science classes. Seeing these connections, and how something relates and can be useful in computer science makes math more interesting, and somehow has helped me to understand it better. Discrete, especially, is really cool, because so much of it ties into what you'll learn in computer science classes.
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#6 roidetout  Icon User is offline

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Re: Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:39 PM

As a CS major, entering your freshman year it is a whole lot easier if you have taken pre-calculus or higher in high school.
If not, you will most likely do an algebra/geometry course for the first semester or two. It is pretty easy stuff, you've problem done some of it in the past and just forgot how you do it.


Math is enjoyable if you actually take the time to learn.
It is very heavily used in computer science related jobs.
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#7 Logical94  Icon User is offline

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Re: Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:48 AM

I'm enrolled in a Computer Programming Program at my College, and from what I am given in terms of work, they do not expect you to have a strong mathematical foundation. There is a course provided, called Mathematical Foundations where they go over in more of a (Refresher) style, yet still teaching from a perspective where they assume you don't know how to do it.

Math is not something to neglect, yet not all types of math will relate to your programming work on an everyday basis (or at all).
Algebra is definitely what you want to focus on, pretty much anything else can be learned whenever you need it.

You'd be surprised what you could learn at home with youtube within an hour or two.
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#8 Klepic Mortis  Icon User is offline

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Re: Planning on Computer Science Major Help.

Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:54 PM

Hey Tariq,
I'm actually in my first semester at Valdosta State University in GA majoring in CS. First off I'll say this, there is a LOT of math lol. I have 8 math courses alone, and 17 CS classes. However, so far it's been pretty fun, and roidetout is right, your first semester is pretty easy. Just basic classes. Coincidentally I'm am also looking at entering the CS world as a software engineer/game developer (dream is to work with square enix or bethesda). I know you said you hated math, but honestly man if you just study, take notes, study more, get involved in study groups with people from your math classes (trust me it helps when you get to discuss what you teacher has covered with other students from the same class), and just focus on the end goal, getting that degree and actually being able to enter the gaming world. It'll be worth it when in say 10 years your friends beat a game, and see your name scrolling across the screen during the credits. I've talked to a few in the gaming industry and they all have said that it really is a heart warming sight when your friends/family see that on the TV. As far as the classes go, just keep your head down, and by that I mean keep your head down in the books. Study till you can barely read the book anymore lol. Also take advantage of opportunities such as Microsoft's dreamspark or any kind of things similar that your school may have. Once you start college, don't just rely on the college courses to teach you everything. Get out there and learn stuff on your own as well. It'll help you find work quick if you have a portfolio from while you were in college showing games you've created, software you've made, and things such as that. I know a lot of people state that you'll never have to use things such as calc in real life, but sadly in this field you will lol. But don't let the math courses alone discourage you. If it's something you love and have a passion for, as long as you believe in doing it, and you are willing to put in the effort to make it happen, eventually it will happen. Just have faith in yourself man.
^_^
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