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u235

School in Texas

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Morning All(12:41am here), I was wondering if there are any people here who have attended the Computer Science programs at various schools in Texas. I am currently in the military but will be moving to Texas when I get out and am planning on going to school to get my degree in Computer Science. I did a little research and came up with a few promising choices and was wondering if anyone could offer some feedback. The choices are as follows: University of North Texas This program looks very good since it has courses specifically dedicated to game programming and other courses that would help develop a successful career. Plus it's in Dallas, well Denton, but close enough, the birthplace of id and the 3D game revolution. I wonder if that's a coincidence. University of Houston This one looks good because it has what looks like a well rounded degree program with enough broadness to be a good candidate for any position, not just game programming, if it came to that, but also allows a little specialization. There are no game programming specific courses, but there are computer graphics courses that teach "selected" graphics programming APIs. Also, it's in Houston which is eventually where I wish to end up. University of Texas The Computer Science degree doesn't look all that spectacular, but I felt I should include this school on the list due to the reputation of UT as a whole for having outstanding degree programs. The site wasn't very informative, well maybe it was, but it was a bit tricky to navigate so I didn't get all the information I would have liked and I am much too tired at the moment to sift through all those links to find what I am looking for. Anyway, I would especially like information on this school as it is the school I found the least information on. That concludes my list of candidates. However, by all means, please inform me of schools I may be missing and perhaps did not think of to look at. Thank you very much for your help and I look forward to receiving your replies. Regards, AJ

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I'm currently at UNT (University of North Texas). Yea the Game courses (2D and 3D) are awesome/competitive/hard (I haven't taken them but I know 5 people that have, and they said it was a really great class and that it was taught well). The game classes are set up to where you get to work on a team. You interview people in the class about what they have completed, their code, just like you would interview someone for a job. Or you can take the class with friends and have a team before you take the class. Then you also get to team up with art students. So basically the professor shows you how to code a game in DirectX from ground up and your team of coders and artist make a game. At the end of the class, from what I hear, there is a mini E3, where you show case you game. I'm pretty much here specifically for the LARC lab's and the comp sci. classes and math classes. It's pretty competitive here, a lot of sleepless nights, but a lot of great times at the same time. It's a really good atmosphere, and the professors are always there to help. Currently I'm taking my Data Structures and Algorithm analysis class and for our final project we have to design and code a mini search engine to work like the Google search engine. It’s a pretty cool project.

One bad thing is that there is no class that teaches WinAPI. So you have to learn it on your own. Its recommended to learn the WinAPI before taking the Game classes here, also knowing DX before the class is a big help too.

One last thing, they recently changed the CSCI/CSCE program so that the first coding language you learn is Java instead of C++. So you learn Java, then you learn C++ for the rest of the time.

Ps: just in case you were wondering, you get a well-round education here too. I believe that it is an important thing to be well rounded in a wide variety of things.

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Quote:
Original post by LostSource
Ps: just in case you were wondering, you get a well-round education here too. I believe that it is an important thing to be well rounded in a wide variety of things.


I can say that is one of the most important things to look for before choosing a University! Anyways -

Quote:
Original post by u235
University of Texas
The Computer Science degree doesn't look all that spectacular, but I felt I should include this school on the list due to the reputation of UT as a whole for having outstanding degree programs.


Have you ever heard anything about the University of Texas at Dallas? (I currently go there) You can take a look at our ECS site here, it should tell you what you need to know. I won't talk that much about it, because I've been able to take only a total of 3 computer related courses in 1.5 years (placed out of 3 with AP exams), but next semester I get to take 6! [grin].

Ok back on track, UTD is a school on the rise. We are on track to become a Tier 1 school withen some timeframe, not sure if it's 10 years or less, but that is an active goal of this University. Our ECS(Engineering and Computer Science) programs are ABET accredited (just had the reviews a few weeks ago, but the official reportings don't come out till next year). UTD is notorious for giving away money to students to attend (scholarships). I'm not sure how it works, since you are in the military, but you could email them and get a response fairly fast.

If there is anything specific you want to know feel free to PM or ask here, I offer this University as another choice becase of its excelent EE/CS/SE/TE programs (which is why I came here). What all are you after, or looking for? I'm talking about things such as: small/large populations, busy/quiet surrounding areas, urban/city setting, etc...

Oh and hi LostSource, fellow Texan and neighboring University student [wink]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
the founder of C++ teachers at Texas A&M....is there a reason why this
school wasn't on your list???

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Texas State Technical College in Waco, TX has a "Graphics and Simulation" degree plan, it focuses mostly on rendering and you graduate in about 2 years. (If you don't take the summer off) I liked it as it is a smaller school and tuition is a lot cheaper then a university, the only downside is that it will only earn you an associates degree.

Baylor University (Waco, TX) is a fairly decent private university, they have a good computer science program, though it's a bit overpriced. You're also forced to take religion classes which do NOT transfer to any other university.

Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX) is cheaper than most universities, though don't go just by tuition, because they have a couple grand in miscellaneous fees to contend with. So far I haven't been impressed with their computer science program, and if you can avoid it, don't take any class with Dr. Desrosiers. The scenery is ugly, there's nothing to do, and its a dry county. The bright side is that they offer a duel Computer Science and Mathematics degree plan, which will allow you to get a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Mathematics in about 5 years (4 if you're a methamphetamine addict) Their math department is pretty good.

You might also check SMU (Southern Methodist University?) which I think is located in Texas. A little pricey though.

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Quote:

Original post by Drew_Benton
Have you ever heard anything about the University of Texas at Dallas?


That program looks pretty good. For someone wishing to get in the game development industry, would you recommend the CS or the SE degree?

Quote:

Originally posted by Drew_Benton
What all are you after, or looking for? I'm talking about things such as: small/large populations, busy/quiet surrounding areas, urban/city setting, etc...


I'm looking mid to large size populations. I want to be somewhere where there's plenty to do, but not like suffocating, you know? I toured UNT when looking for schools to go to back in high school and I liked that area alot. I've also been to Dallas a couple times and I like the city as well. So something like that is what I am looking for. I also like the Dallas area because it's basically like Silicon Valley for Texas, or so I would think.


Quote:

Original post by LostSource
I'm currently at UNT (University of North Texas). Yea the Game courses (2D and 3D) are awesome/competitive/hard (I haven't taken them but I know 5 people that have, and they said it was a really great class and that it was taught well). The game classes are set up to where you get to work on a team. You interview people in the class about what they have completed, their code, just like you would interview someone for a job. Or you can take the class with friends and have a team before you take the class. Then you also get to team up with art students. So basically the professor shows you how to code a game in DirectX from ground up and your team of coders and artist make a game. At the end of the class, from what I hear, there is a mini E3, where you show case you game. I'm pretty much here specifically for the LARC lab's and the comp sci. classes and math classes. It's pretty competitive here, a lot of sleepless nights, but a lot of great times at the same time. It's a really good atmosphere, and the professors are always there to help. Currently I'm taking my Data Structures and Algorithm analysis class and for our final project we have to design and code a mini search engine to work like the Google search engine. It’s a pretty cool project.


That sounds pretty cool. Sounds kind of like a real world practical rather than just a class that says hey, this is how to code a game. It gives you a chance to see what being on a real development team is like.


Quote:

Original post by Anonymous Poster
the founder of C++ teachers at Texas A&M....is there a reason why this
school wasn't on your list???


Because I went to Texas A&M for a year immediately after high school and I didn't like it that much. The atmosphere kind of sucked and well it's College Station...the only thing to do there is eat and play DDR at the MSC, and I absolutelt detest DDR.



Thanks all for the replies and help. I still have four years to make a decision so I still have alot time to pick a school. BTW, how have y'all found it to work and go to school at the same time? I didn't work while I was at TAMU and for the past two years, work and school have been the same thing(Navy Nuclear program, two years of training and I still haven't seen a boat yet, lol). Anyway, thanks again.

-AJ

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I worked for the first here I was in school, but I decided to stop working and spend more time on coding, and learning what is going to get me a job. Granted working is a good thing to do because you gain experience, but being a Sale Rep. isn't getting me any exp. in programming and it takes away from study time. I have few friends that have jobs at the Geek Squad, best buy, and other comp. dept's. I'm plainning on going to a tech job soon though. I figured that it would be nice to have a job around comp's.

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Quote:
Original post by u235
That program looks pretty good. For someone wishing to get in the game development industry, would you recommend the CS or the SE degree?


I'd have to say SE for that one. I decided to take SE over CS just by the description for game development, and so far I'm rather happy. I've talked to a lot of CS people that are seniors and at one time wanted to do game programming, and the CS program just isn't geared towards that. I mean neither is the SE degree, but you will be getting a lot of skills in SE that you want in CS that can be applied to game programming/design.

Quote:
I'm looking mid to large size populations. I want to be somewhere where there's plenty to do, but not like suffocating, you know?


Well UTD is kind of on the small to mid sized poulation. In 2004, we just passed 14,000 students enrolled (link). As for the area, it's more on the quiet side, but since the Dallas/Ft.Worth area is rather close, there is stuff to do if you're looking for it. I'm more of the quiet, just do school stuff, so I can't say much about that scene.

Having said you still have 4 years, it's good to be looking ahead, but you're going to have to get another re-evaluation of theses schools by then [wink]. I know our school is busy adding courses and always modifiyng the degree plans, so in 4 years, UTD will ve very different than how it is today.

Quote:
BTW, how have y'all found it to work and go to school at the same time?

I don't work, and probabally won't for a bit, but from talking to people that do, it's really hard when you have to do college + work at the same time and the schedules interlock (i.e. work X hours, then have a class right afterwards).

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Thanks guys, the info was very beneficial. I probably would have ended up going to UNT after high school if it hadn't been for my acceptance to Texas A&M. I know I said I don't like A&M, but I now say that with the experience of going to the school behind me. Before that I was all gung ho about A&M so that's why I went there. But anyway, thanks again and good luck with school guys.

Regards,
AJ

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