Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

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#1 bchoi24  Icon User is offline

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Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 03:31 AM

What's up!?
The title says it all.
What do you guys think?

Please leave a comment down below and tell me about your experience!
I'm really curious! :bananaman:
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Replies To: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

#2 GregBrannon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:05 AM

Why do you (think you) suck at math? Is it in your head? Are you too lazy to make the effort to learn it?

What do you want to do with a CS degree? While I have an engineering degree and can't be sure, based on the CS books I've read, I believe a CS degree will have significant math requirements. Perhaps you don't need a CS degree but an IT degree or another that focuses on programming or whatever it is you'd like to do.

This post has been edited by GregBrannon: 28 February 2014 - 04:05 AM

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#3 Witchking  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:27 AM

I can't claim to have any significant experience, but i've gotten the impression that computer science is indeed very math heavy.

Like Greg asks though, do you really suck at math? Do you have trouble grasping the concepts? Or have you simply been lazy and ignored studying?

In high school (upper secondary?) i always understood the concepts easily and helped my friend out with them. In the end my friend received the highest grade and I the third highest, because he studied much harder.

This post has been edited by Witchking: 28 February 2014 - 04:28 AM

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#4 bchoi24  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:53 AM

Well, I guess I'm just really lazy to learn the math part.
It hasn't helped that I did poorly in high school and always ditched class. I guess I started hating math because I was in the lower level math class when I was a senior and I felt pathetic so I continued to dislike Math. I fear math and it really is hard. It takes me a lot longer to process things. For example, I've been doing basic algebra again and it's still confusing for me as an 18 year old and it sucks. It's really embarrassing.. I want to pursue a CS degree because my dream job is to work at Apple. I've always seen movies/TV shows where they start "coding" and "hacking" and it really seems interesting. I've tried backtrack 5 r3 thinking I was a professional hacker but knew nothing about that program.
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#5 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 05:35 AM

A traditional "Computer Science" degree will usually require as much math as an engineering degree. However, if you like to program, CS is no longer the only game in town. Many schools now offer what amounts to developer degrees. It will vary by school. Take a look at what's offered and what's required.

I, um, suck at math. (I'm a little dyslexic; in math reversing just one number can ruin your whole day.) I only minored in CS, but work as a developer/DBA. If your goal is to program for a living, a CS degree is not a requirement, though it is an excellent foundation.
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#6 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 05:53 AM

If there's anything the past week has taught me, it's that I suck at trig and that's vitally important for anything to do with drawing.

Math is an important aspect of the job. More than just knowing 2+2=4 it's a matter of concluding that you want to add 2 and 2 together as the way to get to 4. It's determining the proper formula for the result you want.
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#7 belgarion262  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 06:52 AM

View Postbchoi24, on 28 February 2014 - 11:53 AM, said:

*snip* I've been doing basic algebra again and it's still confusing for me as an 18 year old and it sucks. It's really embarrassing.. I want to pursue a CS degree because my dream job is to work at Apple. I've always seen movies/TV shows where they start "coding" and "hacking" and it really seems interesting. *snip*



I'm not sure that this is entirely realistic. While I do not wish to discourage you from your dream I would point out that that without a basic grounding in maths it may be rather difficult. Maths helps train us in logic and order, which are fundamental to learning about computers. There is always a reason for something, in both.

It is somewhat disquieting to see that you seem to want to do this part because of movies where they "hack" and "code". Could it be that you are being mislead somewhat in what the degree would entail?


I would advise brushing up on basic maths (a good skill in any job), looking at what a CS degree would entail, and look at what sort of jobs are out there that it would enable you to get.
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#8 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 07:14 AM

Moved to Student Campus.

Quote

I'm not sure that this is entirely realistic.

Actually, it is realistic. Moreso, CS degrees usually have a couple more math classes than engineering degrees, adding in Discrete Math usually. There are also Combinatorics/Graph Theory or Linear Algebra classes thrown in, quite commonly. A CS degree is usually 1-3 math courses away from a minor.

@bchoi24: If you look through our student campus forum, this question is asked all the time. We even have some of these threads saved in our Student Campus FAQs. I highly encourage you to scroll through the responses. You are not alone. If everyone else can weed through the math, I'm betting you probably can too.
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#9 bchoi24  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:55 PM

Haha thanks so much for the great responses. I definitely feel welcome here instead of other forums where they just say "don't do it". much appreciated fam!
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#10 mostyfriedman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 28 February 2014 - 01:11 PM

I am almost done with my CSE degree (currently taking the last 4 classes). I think that I suck at math due to the weak foundational education that I received. However, I do really enjoy math, and I am interested in it. My favorite classes were the ones that were heavy on the math. I believe anyone is capable of accomplishing anything, you just need the right attitude, and that is enjoying what you're doing and working hard. So if you think you have the right attitude, then by all means go for a CS degree, otherwise you may want to choose a degree that will be more appropriate for you. Good luck.
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#11 fishpond  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:13 PM

I also "suck" at math.

I just study extra hard in my math courses. It sucks but if it's something you really want, then you'll do whatever it takes.

Honestly, I study my butt off in math and still get only average grades. I can still create programs better than most people in my classes though.

A big reason why I "suck" at math is because I was really lazy in high school and just never bothered to try learning anything beyond basic algebra.

I'm not doing a CS degree but rather a Software Eng degree so I don't know how different the math is. Most of the math I've dealt with so far deals more with word problems than actual numbers.

Good luck with your dream!
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#12 bchoi24  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:58 PM

View Postfishpond, on 05 March 2014 - 09:13 PM, said:

I also "suck" at math.

I just study extra hard in my math courses. It sucks but if it's something you really want, then you'll do whatever it takes.

Honestly, I study my butt off in math and still get only average grades. I can still create programs better than most people in my classes though.

A big reason why I "suck" at math is because I was really lazy in high school and just never bothered to try learning anything beyond basic algebra.

I'm not doing a CS degree but rather a Software Eng degree so I don't know how different the math is. Most of the math I've dealt with so far deals more with word problems than actual numbers.

Good luck with your dream!



Haha thanks a lot man. I also did slack off a lot in high school and I regret it.. I hope you can pursue in your dream as well bruh!
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#13 joeym  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 09 March 2014 - 10:38 AM

I was a horrible student in high school. I had lots of things going on in my family and it really messed me up when it came to studying. I was more worried about what was going on in my home to really bother with learning. So as a result I really fell behind.

I could get by with classes related to grammar and history but math was a totally different beast. I really struggled when it came to math. I was fine with it at the time as I just figured I would go into a field that was not math related. Like art :)

But when I got started my first semester in college and I quickly realized I was really behind I sat down and thought about what I really wanted to do. Somehow I got involved in electronics and I just decided to stop being lazy (I am not saying you are lazy I was though). In order to get an A.S. degree in electronics I had to complete trigonometry. I was terrified but I decided to give it a shot. My first math class in college was Pre-Algebra. It was a self paced course. No instructor at all. I sat in a room called the math lab and started from page one of the book. If I had questions I asked the student helpers.

Before I knew it I was zipping through the chapters and doing amazingly well. I realized that I just needed to devote time to studying it and so I did just that.

I was able to complete not only that class but also ended up transferring to a university and getting my degree in Electrical Engineering.

If I could do it then anyone can do it. I hope this is encouraging.
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#14 bchoi24  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 09 March 2014 - 02:50 PM

View Postjoeym, on 09 March 2014 - 10:38 AM, said:

I was a horrible student in high school. I had lots of things going on in my family and it really messed me up when it came to studying. I was more worried about what was going on in my home to really bother with learning. So as a result I really fell behind.

I could get by with classes related to grammar and history but math was a totally different beast. I really struggled when it came to math. I was fine with it at the time as I just figured I would go into a field that was not math related. Like art :)/>

But when I got started my first semester in college and I quickly realized I was really behind I sat down and thought about what I really wanted to do. Somehow I got involved in electronics and I just decided to stop being lazy (I am not saying you are lazy I was though). In order to get an A.S. degree in electronics I had to complete trigonometry. I was terrified but I decided to give it a shot. My first math class in college was Pre-Algebra. It was a self paced course. No instructor at all. I sat in a room called the math lab and started from page one of the book. If I had questions I asked the student helpers.

Before I knew it I was zipping through the chapters and doing amazingly well. I realized that I just needed to devote time to studying it and so I did just that.

I was able to complete not only that class but also ended up transferring to a university and getting my degree in Electrical Engineering.

If I could do it then anyone can do it. I hope this is encouraging.



LOL bro.... I'm exactly in the same ship as you right now... IM doing algebra using math lab... And it sucks... But I will take your advice and continue to study hard haha. Thanks so much for motivating me my friend. Please continue to guide me bruh! Much appreciated
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#15 peace_fixation  Icon User is offline

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Re: Want to pursue a degree in CS but suck at Math

Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:11 AM

Math is funny. It's all hard the first time you see it. Just approach topics with discipline and don't get ahead of yourself. I think the hardest things to pick up are the abstractions, but these are exactly the same things that are the hardest in programming. Taking a problem and abstracting it into a few very basic components that represent the essence of the problem.

People don't 'suck' at math, they just haven't spent the required time. Like many things, it requires some discipline. You don't not go to German class and learn how to speak German, and you don't not study maths and learn Linear Algebra. It's not about dyslexia, or having an art brain when you need a numbers brain. Math is hardly even about numbers. It's about patterns and abstractions. Amazingly, THE SAME THINGS THAT ART IS ABOUT! :)/>

Sure, you'll use a calculator and press the sin, cos and tan buttons and get answers to 6 decimal places, but that is the housekeeping of math. The actual math is seeing a problem and putting it into a domain where you have a pattern you can apply, even approximately (in fact, always approximately).

The more math you learn, the more patterns and frameworks you know, the more operations within those patterns and frameworks you know, the more problems you can solve, the more FUN you can have!

Like, I need to find the distance between some point A and some point B. Now if you know a few things about triangles, you can find this distance with ease, but if you don't, well, have fun walking from point A to point B with a ruler!

Even if you do zero actual applied math in your programming career, any time spent learning math is time spent solving problems, is time well spent on developing solid foundations for writing programs.

Go get 'em :)/>

This post has been edited by peace_fixation: 10 March 2014 - 04:14 AM

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