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Math Computer science or computer science with mathematics?

  1. Aug 21, 2011 #1
    Hi,
    I'm about to start my university in september. I just wanted to know which course should I take? Computer Science(MEng) or Computer Science and mathematics with industrial experience? I mean if I take Computer science with mathematics will I be losing any edge over other students who study only computer science for 4 years? Please guide me on this. Thanx!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2011 #2
    No cause you'll know math and computer science. You'll be more versatile.
     
  4. Aug 22, 2011 #3

    chiro

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    Science Advisor

    They do complement each other, but it depends on what you want to do.

    What kind of areas appeal to you?
     
  5. Aug 22, 2011 #4
    Software engineering,web development, computer hardware and applications of mathematics in computer science or in general.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2011 #5

    chiro

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    Science Advisor

    Web development can be a mixed bag. If you just want to do the standard dynamic page stuff with databases, and fancy layouts then the math will most likely be fairly basic.

    If you are interested in hardware, you probably are better off doing a computer engineering degree, and this is very math intensive.

    One very applicable area of mathematics to computer science is in search engines. The problems that search engines have require a lot of different kinds of mathematics including the ones primarily found in "computer science" (imo a lot of computer science is just math).

    Think of any kind of "intelligent" application and you bound to find a tonne of math. Anything with data mining is also a good place to look.

    Another good place for math is to do with communications and data compression. Whether it's image, sound, or video compression, it's all math. The advances in math have made these new technologies possible. With communications you need to know things like integral transforms and a lot of probability especially applications to information.

    If you want design games, again pretty much everything is some sort of math trick.

    Also developing code for scientific applications involves applied math. This could be in an engineering type field (aerospace, nuclear, and so on), it could be in finance, or it could be in another applied scenario.

    Cryptography is another area that springs to mind. There are many facets to developing secure systems and the mathematical part is just a part and not the whole. The code is also a critical part: for example if you leave stuff in memory that other things can get access to, the whole security system is kind of pointless. There is also policy and protocol issues like making sure people have strong passwords and that access to the system is done in a way that minimizes unauthorized entry (for example you may only be allowed to access certain systems within a range of IP's). There is a lot to this field and math and computer science may give a good starting point to become an expert if you're interested.
     
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