[Novalug] Teaching Computers Science
kevin at pheared.net
Wed Sep 26 13:42:23 EDT 2007
On Wed, Sep 26, 2007 at 12:52:58PM -0400, Jay Hart wrote:
> 2. At least at CWRU, the BS in Comp Sci was basically a theatrical math
> degree. I took 9 Comp Sci related courses, and 8 math courses. Did I mention I
> hate math. Didn't know this before I went there.
Well, as my Algorithms (CMSC451 @ UM) prof put it (to a few kids who
were semi-whining about the difficulty of proofs): "Make no mistake.
This is a math class. I'm not going to reteach Calculus." In fact, at
Maryland the CMSC and MATH courses that have a 5 in the tens digit are
all essentially MATH courses.
I think that viewing Computer Science as anything but a specialization
of math is a mistake. If you're interested in learning C++ to write C++
applications at C++ shops, then get an Information Systems degree (feel
free to s/C++/$YOUR_LANGUAGE/). If on the other hand you're interested
in learning to develop efficient algorithms and data structures,
agnostic of the language that is currently en vogue, then take Computer
> So, pick your school and degree wisely.
I think the school mostly doesn't matter as long as they understand the
distinction between a CMIS and a CMSC degree. And I agree about
choosing the right degree (of course, how could you not) but I do think
it's good advice for a freshman to try to stay undecided for as long as
the school will tolerate it. Because, honestly, noone knows the right
answer to the major question at 18.
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