6 Replies - 2945 Views - Last Post: 02 April 2014 - 09:51 PM

#1 riptyde4   User is offline

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How important is a good grade in discrete math?

Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:14 AM

I'm currently taking discrete math as a CS major right now. I've heard it's the most important math class to take as a CS major. I'm not really doing well in it (looking at a C average).

Is it worth withdrawing to retake it next semester for a better grade on my transcript? (I'm confident if I retook it I could do much better, I got off to a bad start) Or should I just finish out the course and do my best? I'm 11 days from the withdrawal deadline.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

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#2 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: How important is a good grade in discrete math?

Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:17 AM

Typically discrete math is a foundation/prereq class for other, future, classes like graph theory, number theory, logic, signal processing, etc. I would double check to see what your program's uses for that class are and base the importance of the class on your actual situation.
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#3 macosxnerd101   User is offline

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Re: How important is a good grade in discrete math?

Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:37 AM

I think the question is more about your learning, and why you have the C. If you're learning and not doing well out of laziness, then it's your call. If you are struggling with the material, retaking it wouldn't kill you.
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#4 missingLL   User is offline

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Re: How important is a good grade in discrete math?

Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:13 PM

Don't waste your time or money taking the class over unless it is putting your GPA in jeporady.

Discrete mathematics is used quite a bit higher up, but not as in depth as the class might lead you to think.

I would recommend going over your class book again, going online and learning it from a different source, as long as you can know the material from a conceptual point of view you should be fine.
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#5 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: How important is a good grade in discrete math?

Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:14 PM

Well.. typically failing a class does impact that GPA.
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#6 crabara   User is offline

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Re: How important is a good grade in discrete math?

Posted 26 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

The only thing I have ever used is Modulo, learn that and your good to go. I've run out of student loans with 4 semesters left and luckily I have grants for this year (fingers crossed I have enough left for one more year), don't retake anything. Take your grade and move on, if possible. GPA helps with co-ops and internships but what employers really wanna see are those sweet, sweet, codes.

If your worried about internships I suggest bringing along the codes of a personal project, to a job fair or interview, it can give them a good idea at where you are and how much they will have to invest into you. They want to determine if you could ever be a functional employee/intern.

This post has been edited by crabara: 26 March 2014 - 01:00 PM

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#7 jon.kiparsky   User is online

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Re: How important is a good grade in discrete math?

Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:51 PM

Quote

I've heard it's the most important math class to take as a CS major.


The most important math to take as a CS major is "more math". CS is a branch of mathematics, plain and simple. Low-level programmers can get away with knowing not much, and if you're lucky enough to start something that takes off, you can be in charge and hire people to be smart for you, but if you're going to be doing the real work you need to understand how code really works, and it's all math under the hood.

That being said, I suggest you don't waste your time chasing a grade in one class, particularly not this one. Discrete math is usually taught as a sort of introductory survey of a number of areas. If you get a passing grade, review the areas that you had trouble with, and maybe take further courses in them. They're all fundamental, you might as well get some depth on them.

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If your worried about internships I suggest bringing along the codes of a personal project, to a job fair or interview, it can give them a good idea at where you are and how much they will have to invest into you.

Anyone who uses "code" in the plural and is not talking about ciphers, or who confuses "your" and "you're" is going to fail some interviews just on that. Remember, the people hiring you have demonstrated a real commitment to at least a couple of formal languages - many of them will care just as much about natural languages. You know how you like to make your code look good and bug-free? English is the language you're going to do most of your work in. You really want to avoid having bugs in your English.
More important, of course, is to keep your code in a public repository and put the address of that repo on your resume and your business card. Having the source code on your laptop isn't going to do you a lot of good. You'd like to give your contacts the ability to grab the code and play with it on their own machines. At least, that's the theory.
Mostly people just want to look and see that something's there. Unless you're actually doing something useful and interesting, nobody's ever going to look at it. In real life, you're hired on your presentation, your reputation, and your verbal evidence of competence.

I agree on the GPA, though. No employer has ever asked me for my transcripts in my life.
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