Sign in to follow this  
Fantaz

Are there any University courses that teach physics programing?

Recommended Posts

I am in high school right now and was just looking to see what prerequisite courses I would need in order to get into University. Can anyone tell me if there are any Universities teaching video game programming? If not, I see this college next to where I live callled IADT that is offering "Video Game Design and Development" (http://www.iadt.ca/video_game_design.asp). Although I want to have a specific focus on physics engine programming, which IADT only offers limited education. And a college wouldn't make good use of my high marks. I am willing to relocate anywhere in the world that speaks english. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe FullSail offers video game programming (correct me if wrong)

As for Physics programming, I looked for the same thing. The closest I could find was Northwestern's Integrated Science Program. You should be able to find it on their site [google].

Other than that, you can always dual major!


Mushu - trying to help those he doesn't know, with things he doesn't know.
Why won't he just go away? An question the universe may never have an answer to...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
learn physics -> learn programming. it's really easy to program physics since it's already all in equation form. just learn it and learn programming and then programming physics is very simple.

-me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Forgot to mention that I was thinking of doing a dual major in Physics and Programming in University. Some people tell me that University level Physics degrees won't help me now but I want to be prepared for the future and keep my options open. Maybe start my own engine from the ground up reinventing the wheel, hopefully better than Havoc. And if games don't work out maybe simulators?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Fantaz
Forgot to mention that I was thinking of doing a dual major in Physics and Programming in University. Some people tell me that University level Physics degrees won't help me now but I want to be prepared for the future and keep my options open. Maybe start my own engine from the ground up reinventing the wheel, hopefully better than Havoc. And if games don't work out maybe simulators?


this is a better idea for any number of reasons. 2 important ones being:

1) having a good physics _and_ CS background will make you much more hireable to work on a physics engine.

2) it's always better, IMHO, to have a not-game specific degree because there's a really good chance that you'll decide that working 90+ hours just isn't for you. having both a physics and a CS degree to fall back on will make transitioning careers infinitely easier.

-me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Try looking for "Computational Physics" degrees. As far as I know, it'll teach you about physics and computer simulations of physics. I would also recommend against a computer game degree myself; you might want to change career at some point and a straight forward CS/SE degree would probably look better anyway as games programming isn't all that different from any other programming task. You'll find that a lot of employers are not just looking for programmers anymore either, they want people with knowledge of some topic (like physics or finance) who can also program, so computational physics could work out good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MOre and more colleges are offering Programs everyyear.

Georgia Tech has a program, Texus U(I think, one big name in texas, can't remeber which one off the top of my head)

There are the profit schools such as Nintendo sponsered Digipen(Washington) which has a 4 year degree. This is probably the most like a 'real' 4 year university, as opposed to Full Sail, which offers a 2 year degree in a hyper-accelerated schedule.

My local community college just this past semester (Wake Tech, in NC) just now have tried to start offering courses geared towards game design. They were cancelled due to low enrollment, but a couple offered were Game Design using Dark Basic, and also a Game programming physics class.

There are online classes, search, google, even past threads on this forum.

Digipen used to be my wish out of all. It is a real college and one of the 1st. Coming from there as opposed to full sail would carry a lot more weight. I almost went to fullsail, but cost vs what I would have come out with.. didn't seem very fruitful.

If you get away from their flashy website, and try to get more actual opinions you'll see the school's darkside as well.

I'm not trying to start a flamewar over schools and my opinion so here is my disclaimer....
****************************************************************
**DISCLAIMER** - All schools have their upsides and downsides. Most people on the internet when rating something take more time to rant than to praise and with that being said some schools don't recieve the recognition they deserve. In the end, your life is what you make of it, and results are on a case by case basis.

****************************************************************
My views are my own and are based on a lot of background research because i looked very heavily into this. Moving cross country for 4 years or spending $50's for only 14 months are HUGE decisions to make, when your "po like Kenny's family."

THe facts I could find though, in 1999-2000 when i looked at schools, a 4 yr program like Digipen, students did in fact average 2 job offers per graduate which was signifigantly more than Full Sail's. Full Sail claims a high job placement, but their results were/are skewed. I'f i go for a degree in programming, a job that should get $45k starting(Averages i've seenfor intro programming jobs, I've seen higher), I don't want to start out as a game tester making $18k a year.

How many doctors do you know that train to be a surgeon, and start off working as the guy that mops and sanatizes before surgery. This may seem extreme and some may rebut this argument, but it makes since.

Digipen also had higher rates, I would assume, because it is a 4 year degree and better education by nature.

Anyways, back to main point. Google to find places to go, and find everything you can about your prospects. Email Students in the program to try and get "real" POV's and go see the school for yourself. If you get bad vibes, research more or move on.

Even without college, you have a WEALTH of info on the internet right at your fingers for FREE. Your only cost is time. If you don't have the desire to learn it on your own at home when its free... are you sure you want to pay to learn it?

Just some thoughts. Goodluck in your search! :)

-DD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DISCLAIMER: Ok, I know a lot of people think that Game-Specfic Degrees limit your choice of a job, but I am actually in favor of DigiPen, and if you look at their curriculum, you'll notice that only 1 out of 6-7 classes each semester are actually game development classes, The rest are classic Math, Comp Science, Physics. I've looked at DigiPen's and FullSail's degrees, and I saw hardly one course that they shared in common at both institutions.
-----------------------------------------------------------
If you want to go into video game programming, and are willing to spend 100+ a week programming, then I would suggest taking a serious look at DigiPen (website) At their website, they have a few of their students' games. Since you mentioned your interest in physics, many of the senior/junior-level games mention the people who programmed what, and there are people who solely work on a physics engine (they don't use someone elses).

I've visited DigiPen for a few weeks myself, and I hope I'll be able to get in for the next school year. While their graduation rate is getting higher, the students I talked to said that the average dropout rate is still rather high, especially during freshman year when some of the people who somehow got in think that making games is like playing games.

DigiPen also said that they currently have over a 90% industry placement rate from their graduates, so if you want to get into the game industry I think this would be a good school. However, the difficult part is graduating. And if you look at DigiPen's actual curriculm, its not just a bunch of game programming courses, its mostly Math, Programming, and Physics, with only 1 Game Development course per semester.

Also, I don't entirely agree with
Quote:
as games programming isn't all that different from any other programming task

The colleges were I live only offer classes that relate to database programming and VB.NET, because that's what a majority of programmers do where I live. I've taken some classes, and we have used no more complex math than simple addition, multiplication,... Physics and Computer Science have no relation in the courses I've taken, so I would recommend learning what kind of programming courses the university you plan on attending actually offers.
------------------------------------------------------------
************************************************************
However, if you're not sure the video game industry is right for you, then I would agree with the other posters and get a general CS / Physics Degree from a good college

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Agentidd
How many doctors do you know that train to be a surgeon, and start off working as the guy that mops and sanatizes before surgery. This may seem extreme and some may rebut this argument, but it makes since.


Actually it doesnt make sence. What does mopping and sanatizing things have to do with being a surgen?

Testing games can gain you a lot of valuable experience that can help when you do start being the guy that programs the games.

How many doctors do you know that work in hospitals while attending medical school so that they can gain some real life experience in the industry while still in school? A lot.

Thats the way i think of it though, and yes i am currently employed as a game tester. So take it how you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't know if what I have to say is useful or interesting, but here it is for what it's worth.

I'm currently majoring in math/physics. Why is this relevant? Because I often use Mathematica and, to a lesser extent, Haskell/C to solve problems. Sometimes the assignment is to write a program that will solve the problem. So, what I'm saying is, if you take mid-high level physics courses, you'll probably be doing some physics programming.

Why do I think this might not be interesting? Well, it's not exactly a game programming language (Mathematica is good for solving math/physics problems and making pretty graphs, but there are better options for games). Also, it's not exactly a physics engine like you would find in a game. So take it for what it's worth.

One last thing to keep in mind. A physics major will take you into "Modern Physics" (Einstein's Relativity + Quantum Mechanics) which will be less useful in games than "Classical Physics" (Newtonian Mechanics + Electrodynamics). So maybe a minor would be better. CSci/Physics minor/Math minor shouldn't be difficult to acheive (as far as graduating in 4 years) and I would guess it would give you more options than a Video Game Program. Which is better or worse depends on your situation and what you want to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by wyrzy
Also, I don't entirely agree with
Quote:
as games programming isn't all that different from any other programming task



I don't agree with this view around the forums that games programming is the most difficult and challenging type of programming around at all. Every programming task has similarities and all have their tricky problems and engineering issues. Games programming really isn't much different to any other type of programming I've done. It's all just data structures, algorithms, architecture, planning and implementation in the end. If you've done any programming on large projects, I see no reason why you would have specifc trouble programming computer games. There is no fundamental difference; it's just software.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you are really interested in both physics and computer science, your best approach is to look for a program which meets your needs. As people have already stated, there are a variety of degree programmes available. Personally, I would recommend focussing on the core areas of each of the disciplines. Having a solid foundation is important in being able to adapt to ever changing technology.

Myself, I did my undergraduate degree in physics and taught myself programming on the side. If found that my problem solving skills were vastly enhanced by my physics training, which is invaluable in terms of coding.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this