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Emonious

Damn you Computer Science Major!!! Unit Amount Req.

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Thanks. I honetly still can''t believe there are not game development majors... All we get stuck with is overpriced schools, that if your LUCKY give a BS in computer science.

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I wouldn''t mind a normal CS curriculum if the professors only bothered to try to make the assignments challenging. The most challenging assignment I have ever received was from my third semester CS class. We were to implement a tic-tac-toe game which could play flawlessly on a 5x5 board in a reasonably finite amount of time. That can be reasonably challenging if you try to do it without much knowledge of basic tree optimization techniques such as minmax/alphabeta pruning, etc..

You will not be challenged in your classes. If you put any amount of effort into your assignments you will finish them all ( usually within hours after starting ). Even large group projects tend to be trivial, particularly if your group members are fairly competent.

So basically it comes down to sitting in a class, picking up some basic concepts and then applying those in an equally basic assignment. The great part is when the class complains that the assignment is too difficult so the professor takes everything down a notch. I was literally flamed on the class newsgroup for suggesting the proffessor offer more "open-ended" assignments such as Tic-Tac-Toe. Not a single other person in the class was apparently interested in challenging assignments. The same has been more or less true in every other class I have taken.

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Bah... I hope it isn't that easy :/ Throwing a bunch of Array check loops together and learning a few languages is going to be slightly "boring as hell" if that is all I have to look forward too.

What do I want? C++/Java skills. Theory behind structures and looping. Win32 then Diretx API skills. Software engineering training with some graphics training. Add on to that the least amount of BS and time wasting possible. Finish it off with anything else I might need to know, such as networking technical issues.

I'm sure I'll be challenge enough just by the shear amount of classes, I guess. I'm quite lousy at math, so it may end up that that is the area I'm "challenged."

[edited by - emonious on January 16, 2004 4:10:01 AM]

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I''m switching majors from CS to Mathematics. My math major will have me taking still a whole lot of CS classes anyhow and I like its less-than-narrow scope that CS major has. I''m not sure what the ratio of skilled programmers in the workforce are comprised of between CS graduates and Mathematics grads. I''d love to find out.

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quote:
Original post by Emonious
..and learning a few languages is going to be slightly "boring as hell" if that is all I have to look forward too.



If only. Almost all classes here use Java. Even my architecture class used a dumbed down* (see note before flaming) assembly language that ran on a virtual architecture. It was the LC3, a RISC architecture which magically has fixed length instruction encoding, word alignment and word size memory access, etc.. A pretty make-pretend language that completely ignores all of the practical problems that you face in the real world when programming in assembly ( save the sarcasm - assembly is still useful in innumerable fields ).

*NOTE : By dumbed down I mean to say that Java does not deal with memory or architecture specific issues. This is generally not a bad thing, but if a programmer were to have no experience outside of his University education and then ended up on a game console development team (for example), he or she would likely be completely lost:

reinterpret_cast< void * * >(&blah);

That statement is not going to be the most intuitive thing for a programmer who has never gone outside of his university sandbox.

It is nice to abstract away some of the weaknesses of languages that would interfer with teaching them, but its getting to the point to where so much is being abstracted away that students will be left in the dark and spend months in training for most of any real world positions they will find themselves in. I am not a C++ fanatic, in fact I have been a C# adept, but a language such as C++ which is still widely used and in many ways very different than java, should still be used (if not taught) in at least one required class. Lisp and Lisp derivitives are still taught at almost all institutions in at least one class. In all reality is a programmer more likely to use Lisp or C++ on a professional level? Yes, I know that's not the most fair question since Lisp is generally used as an introduction to functional programming, but the question is still valid.

[edited by - haro on January 16, 2004 4:47:02 AM]

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Just curious, what is a unit?
I''m cunrrently reading "Information Technology" att Uppsala Universty, Sweden. Here we''re requierd to collect 180 points in order to graduate, where each point is suposed to corespond to one week of fulltime studies. Is a unit anything like that, and if so how much stuides are requerd for one unit?


--
Spearhawk Productions
Project Andromeda

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A unit in the states often refers to one hour of classes per week for a semester. A semester is about 2/7ths of a year. There is fall semester, spring semester and then 2 smaller summer semester.

So a 3 unit class would generally mean you are in class 3 hours per week for that class. IE- monday, wednesday, friday for one hour each, or tuesday/thursday for 1.5 hours each.

Of course this isn''t rock solid. There are often 3 hour classes that take 4 hours per week and so on. The minimum required for full time university enrollment is 12 hours at most places.

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I just want to point out that curriculum and difficulty varies HIGHLY from university to university when it comes to CS degrees. Some CS programs do nothing but teach you programming, some CS programs do nothing but teach you theory. A lot of it stems from the fact of where the CS program came from? Did it originate from the EE department, Math department, or was it created by popularity. I''ve found that CS programs that sprouted from EE departments 30+ years ago tend to be more architecture/computer design focused. Programs that sprouted from Math departments 30+ years ago tend to focus more on the theoritical side of CS, and programs that were created out of popularity are designed to spew programmers, and will just teach you languages and stuff.

The moral of the story is RESEARCH the schools you are interested, and find out about the difficulty/focus of the program.

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