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Computer Engineer going into Simulation and Modelling

  1. Mar 7, 2012 #1
    Hey all. I feel as if I've dug myself into a dead end and I'd appreciate some career advice.

    I'm a senior computer engineering student with a 3.8 GPA at a decent engineering school. I chose the major to further understand the mysteries of computers. I enjoyed learning what I did, because now I have an in-depth understanding of computers.

    I've had two different software development internships: One on a large DotNET application development team, and one where I was the sole developer of a logistics application. Both involved building forms, writing SQL queries, and dealing with loads of data. Data in, report out. I am constantly asking my coworkers how they can enjoy dealing with such bland stuff when they could be doing science! Their lack of response makes me think that maybe I'm in the wrong field.

    I want to use this computer literacy as a tool to work on interesting real-world problems. The problems that interest me all share one thing in common: modelling. I think my true joy is using a computer to model a system. Basically, I want to
    1. Examine a system
    2. Develop a theory for how it works
    3. Simulate an experiment with a computer
    4. Examine my results and make an inference

    My main experience with modelling is through AI/robotics, as I took a class on it and did a semsester of research in it. I absolutely loved it. But I'm also interested in physical models (like stress, strain, failure models), or weather systems. Another good example is a circuit simulator. Or a video game. An interesting thing to me is modelling the psychological behavior of humans. The game of life is very interesting to me. Biological models. The list goes on.

    The question I'm looking to get answered by PhysicsForums is this: What kind of masters programs would a computer engineering undergrad be qualified for that involve using computers to model problems? Could I go for computer science, applied mathematics, physics, or an interdisciplinary simulation program such as http://www.ist.ucf.edu/?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2012 #2
    Sounds like your interested the field known as scientific computing? It's quite an interdisciplinary area of study, you can kind of do lots of different things, so usually best to focus on a few specific areas.

    If this is the case id study computer science / applied mathematics I kind of have the same interest as you. I also am interested in scientific computing but also algorithm development. I am currently doing applied mathematics and will follow up with computer science. Or if you can find it scientific computing degree.
  4. Mar 15, 2012 #3
    Check this out:


    GaTech has one of the top CS programs in the country. This program allows you to do a 'computational science & engineering' degree with a concentration in any applied field such as biology, aerospace engineering, scientific computing, etc.
  5. Mar 15, 2012 #4
    I don't know what country you're in but for graduate school where one does research one often applies more to a specific professor rather than a department or program. If you are in a country where this is the norm I would suggest going through departmental websites and looking at the research interests of specific faculty members. If you find some that interest you send that prof an e-mail stating your background and interest in this field of work and whether they're interested in taking on a new student with your background. If they say yes than apply to that school.
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