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 Post subject: Need some encouragement
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:07 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:04 am
Posts: 174
I got 2 years to go untill i get my Degree in Computer science. The work load and math has gotten way too hard. I like programming and solving problems but i just can't get the grades in math. I am think about switch majors that is somewhat related to CS. Anyone want to give me their .02 cents?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:13 am 
Thunderbird
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:08 am
Posts: 843
Location: Texas
I know where your are coming from, and I can understand being discouraged. I myself, and SEVERAL people I know felt this way about half way through. We didn't consider changing majors, but we were definitely discouraged. Your right there in the thick of it actually. The math is easily one of the hardest parts of any engineering degree. I flew through Cal 1 and Cal 2 and then got killed in Dif. Eq., and outright applying it to problems from the ground up, is still not the easiest thing in the world.


If you really love what your doing, would it be possible to lighten the load a little? Reduce by three hours, or more, possibly?

Does your dept., either engineering or especially math dept., have tutoring? I used tutoring for C++, but it helped greatly. I managed to push through the Dif. Eq., but I NEVER, and still don't do well with programming at all. This tutoring helped immensely, as the professor I had was a complete jack-ass that assumed everyone in there should already know the fundamentals to C++, when the class was about 50/50 CS to EE. Most of us didn't even know what O.O.P. was. :roll: Point, don't let a professor discourage you.

Find a way, it will get easier, not much, but easier.
If it is what you love, stick with it man. :wink:

I would also HIGHLY recommend an internship, a GOOD internship. It will give you a great idea of what is to come, and possibly provide a ton of inspiration to you for the future. GOOD, meaning, do massive research and talk to other people who have had the same internship, and make sure your not just going to be pushing the mail cart around for three months.


As far as other options, related to CS, I believe there is major related to Information Systems and Quantitative Sciences. I know nothing about it as everything I study is electrical, but I do know it is loosely related; however, this strictly depends on what your school has to offer.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:13 pm 
Willamette
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:29 am
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The math pounded me too. Mainly calculus. I ended up getting tutors and squeaking through. Even worse (or better, depending on your perspective), I've never used it since...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:57 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 24
Yes, it can be pretty painful. However, I'd imagine you're finished up with Differential Equations and pstat at this point, no?

What other math classes are required at your school? I'd imagine discrete math and finite automata are pretty common. Numerical analysis and theory of computation might be required at some schools. And other than that it's upper division core and elective CS classes? If you like programming and/or computers, I'd say in some ways you are about to get to the good part where things really start looking applicable in some ways (operating systems, computer architecture, computer networking, computer graphics, etc.).

I think you might have similar issue with other engineering majors (EE, ECE, etc.). I recall quite a few people who decided CS wasn't for them switching to Business/Econ and most Schools of Business seem to have IS degrees.

IMO, is that you might want to find out if the CS field is what you want to do. I know people who trudged their way through to a MS in CS only to find out they didn't like working in the CS field. A common statement I heard was "After I graduate I'll be done with this" but if someone doesn't like programming for instance, that generally doesn't work out right away because the job they are qualified for is computer programming (generally speaking). As reklaw said a good internship could be useful. A good one at a large company will rotate you through various departments so you can really see what you will be doing. Alternatively you can talk to people you know who already graduated or people who have been working in a CS related field for a while and find out what the story is and if it sounds like something you want to do. At that point you'll have a better idea if the CS field is something you are definitely interested in.

The thing I would suggest avoiding is simply changing majors without doing some research. That kind of thing can turn a four-year degree into a six-year degree. On the other hand it is probably not good to put it off for too long either. For instance, I've seen people who were English Lit majors with a minor in IS decide senior year they wanted to go to med school. Yoooouch! Welcome to the six or seven year BA. I've seen people do that and succeed but talk about a lot of catching up.

I usually tell people it comes down to finding a career that you don't hate. Lucky people work in a field they love. But sometimes the things some people love to do aren't very good careers and in those cases I think those things are good hobbies but it's important to have a viable career. However, if a job is something you just can't stand, that's probably not a good choice either because you don't want to spend forty years in a field you just can't stand. Likewise it would suck to trudge through four years of school and decide you didn't like the jobs that degree got you. Unfortunately at the time when the decisions are easiest to make (where you are) it's often difficult to see which path is the one you want. That is why I think it's a good idea to talk to some people, etc. and find out if you really want to work in the field.

I know a couple people who are very talented musicians that love music. But they realized that a career in music that would last a lifetime and have an income that allowed them to do what they wanted was highly unlikely. So both them work in the computer field. They don't hate it, it's just not what they'd prefer to do. It brings in a good income with good benefits so they are comfortable and have the funding and free time to do what they want in their spare time. In their spare time they are in bands or orchestras, have small recording studios, perform at concerts, etc. It was a compromise, but it balanced their need to have a good income and nice home and they still get to do what they enjoy.

On the flip side another friend finished his CS degree and decided he really wanted an aviation career. So enter the USAF OCS program and became an USAF pilot and is now an airline pilot. He was one of the lucky ones who is able to do what he loves and earn a good living doing it.


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