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ScottC

Computer Science?

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I was wondering what it covered in all. I heard its mostly theory, but does it teach any programming languages? Should I know a specific programming language if I am going to take it? Is this the kind of class I should take in college if I want to go into programming?

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Yes, Computer Science is what You want to take if you want to program.

Its typically not a single class.

A CS degree will probably require you to know Math Up to Linear algebra and Discrete Math. But More math is probably urged.

The basic CS courses will cover the general 'idea' of programming: letting you use a compiler and writing small simlpe programs. They will also introduce you to a few design methodologies.

Later You would get knee deep into General Data Structures and Algortims. All of this is language independent.

You would also probably be encouraged to take a Language Survey Course or several of them. Where you use several Languages.

You might also be required to take some technical Writing Courses as design and communication are paramount.

AS well you might also need to take a few Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering Courses.

---------------------------------

The best thing is once you deccide or get into a school just look a thier CS degree plans. You could look at ther courses online right now.

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Quote:
Original post by HAM
Yes, Computer Science is what You want to take if you want to program.

Its typically not a single class.

A CS degree will probably require you to know Math Up to Linear algebra and Discrete Math. But More math is probably urged.

The basic CS courses will cover the general 'idea' of programming: letting you use a compiler and writing small simlpe programs. They will also introduce you to a few design methodologies.

Later You would get knee deep into General Data Structures and Algortims. All of this is language independent.

You would also probably be encouraged to take a Language Survey Course or several of them. Where you use several Languages.

You might also be required to take some technical Writing Courses as design and communication are paramount.

AS well you might also need to take a few Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering Courses.

---------------------------------

The best thing is once you deccide or get into a school just look a thier CS degree plans. You could look at ther courses online right now.


I do not want to go and live somewhere else for a college though on my own, apparently the community college nearby is now a 4 year college, would this be a fine choice?

Thanks.

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
Probably not. [imo]


why?

Edit: My family has money troubles right now, and I don't think I will be getting a scholarship.

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Original post by ScottC
I do not want to go and live somewhere else for a college though on my own, apparently the community college nearby is now a 4 year college, would this be a fine choice?

Err, probably, but a bit hard for us to say, since we don't know what your particular college is offering. ;)

But compared to not studying CS, I'd say it's good choice. [wink]

Anyway, Computer Science teaches, well, the science of computing stuff. ;)
Not the science of computers, and not programming, although both of those are of course heavily used as tools. To begin with, you'll learn one or two programming languages, but that's really only to give you a foundation for learning everything else. Programming isn't the goal in itself. It's just something you happen to need to learn all the important stuff. What they teach you ranges from how an OS, compiler or a CPU works, or how to break down complex problems into code, to learning about various commonly used algorithms, and how to judge the "performance" of an algorithm. Or all the more exotic stuff, like programming language theory, how to prove the correctness of a compiler or a language, as well as multiple programming paradigms.
The goal is to teach you everything you need to be able to handle any computational problem efficiently (That includes games, or anything else that can be run on a computer, btw), regardless of which programming language you use.

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It depends on the courses at the community college. I know my Community College only had like 1 computer science course so it wouldnt really be possible to get a 4 yr degree there. Maybe you can take all the core classes at the community college for 2 years then go to a private college and take CS courses only.

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Why?

Well personally, I tend to favor the advice of living at a 4 year university. It provides an excellent atmosphere for you to learn how to live, how to shop for food, how to make your own schedule without having to learn much of the other hardships that come with adulthood. It allows you to have a lot more fun, met more people, have less regrets. These things are important, and the things that will provide you happiness.

As far as education goes, formal 4 year universities such as HAM describe, tend to focus on the theory of computer science. Algorithms, information theory, mathematics, design, and quite a bit of abstract knowledge. Community colleges, even the larger 4 year programs still tend to focus on programming and application building.

The abstract knowledge is more valuable. With the high competition for positions, having such valuable knowledge is essential. People who can throw some Java together are a dime a dozen. People who can design complex applications are few and far between. This trend will only worsen in the future.

But, if the choice is out of your control, do what you can. Any education is better than no education.

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I'm currently a senior in Purdue's CS/MATH Undergrad program.

Computer Science will emphasize theory during your undergrad, with some programming to complement it. It teaches you to analyze algorithms and programs to see how "efficient" they are at different tasks. You would learn complex data structures/algorithms.

You would learn how architecture works for and against a programmer and how to utilize the architecture to your advantage, the underworkings of compilers and OS. This is just a small portion.

In my advice to you about your community college, it will probably not be as indepth as a regular university w/ an accredited department, but it will be better that nothing.

My advice would be to shop around your area and see what degrees are offered from each university. Drop into their undergrad office and ask for some info, i'm positive they will give you the skinny.

If you have any more questions about CS, PM me.

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