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Courses Computer Science or Physics?

  • Thread starter Alanay
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I love both Computer Science and Physics, I find Physics a lot more fun to learn about but I also really enjoy programming and creating things that I can see in action. I am a pretty adept programmer in F#, while the language has a very high salary there are very few jobs. I have been accepted onto a BSc (Hons) Computer Science course. The same University does not offer a Physics course, only a Mathemetics one with some (barely any) Theoretical Physics. I believe most Physics graduates go into jobs in the IT sector anyway, so should I continue with CS and learn Physics in my own time? Are there jobs where I can combine the two? Thanks.
 
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In my opinion, it is much easier to study physics and learn the necessary CS than to study CS and learn the necessary physics for a job that uses both. My degree is in "computer physics", which isn't a common program at university, but there are plenty of physicists who take a computational focus.
 

StatGuy2000

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To the OP:

Before any of us can give advice on this matter, it's helpful to know where you are located, and where do you intend on pursuing your university education.
 
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Before any of us can give advice on this matter, it's helpful to know where you are located, and where do you intend on pursuing your university education.
Indeed. Where I live you can do a degree in computational physics. Then you can do a Masters in IT or Physics that will give you are very good background. Or you can do a double degree in Physics and Computer science. Or you can do a bachelor arts degree in math including a lot of physics and computer science - BA math degrees are quite flexible here in Aus - for both computer science and Physics you will need math - the physics and computing you take as electives. Indeed you will find many math subjects are often physics or computer science subjects in disguise,

But that is where I live on Australia - UK and US are different,

Thanks
Bill
 
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To the OP:

Before any of us can give advice on this matter, it's helpful to know where you are located, and where do you intend on pursuing your university education.
Hi, not comfortable telling where I live/am going to Uni. All you should know is that the only 2 relevant courses they offer are for Computer Science and Math with Theoretical Physics. My question is really can I be involved with Physics even if I graduate with a BSc or MSci in CS?
 

Vanadium 50

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Nobody can tell you because
Forgive me for being equally condescending but I thought somebody who frequents this forum would be able to understand my question. You do not need to know where I live to answer it. To simplify it further: Are there jobs that involve physics but require a Computer Science qualification? I'm not asking if my Uni offers Physics courses... like I said I already know the answer to that.
 
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Are there jobs that involve physics but require a Computer Science qualification?
Computational Physics is an area with good employment potential which is why a local university where I live offers a degree in it:

They didn't until a few years ago, but the growth in computational science was simply burgeoning too much.

Thanks
Bill
 

StatGuy2000

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Forgive me for being equally condescending but I thought somebody who frequents this forum would be able to understand my question. You do not need to know where I live to answer it. To simplify it further: Are there jobs that involve physics but require a Computer Science qualification? I'm not asking if my Uni offers Physics courses... like I said I already know the answer to that.
The problem with the question you are posing is that to be able to answer your question we would need to know more details about the educational system of the country or region you are located in.

You stated that your university offers courses in computer science and mathematics, but not physics. That is very unusual in universities in Canada and the US -- most schools that offer computer science or math programs tend to also offer physics as a degree program, and to offer a wide selection of physics courses, as there is overlap between the 3 fields. However, I realize that in many European countries (as an example), that might not necessarily be the case. Similarly for certain Asian countries.

Whether you are able to study physics on your own while pursuing a Bsc and Msci (I'm noting your use of "Msci" rather than "MS" or "Msc") in computer science is thus difficult to answer. How would we know that you have the requisite knowledge in said physics to be able to work in physics-related computing work?
 
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ZapperZ

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Forgive me for being equally condescending but I thought somebody who frequents this forum would be able to understand my question. You do not need to know where I live to answer it. To simplify it further: Are there jobs that involve physics but require a Computer Science qualification? I'm not asking if my Uni offers Physics courses... like I said I already know the answer to that.
So I list to you all the opportunities for a job in physics with a CS background that can be found here in the Chicagoland area.

How will that be relevant to you?

Your inability to comprehend why your question is location-specific and dependent on the opportunity and job market in your area is puzzling.

Zz.
 

Choppy

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To simplify it further: Are there jobs that involve physics but require a Computer Science qualification?
I suppose this depends on what you mean by "involve physics."

It's highly unlikely that if you pursue an education that is focused exclusively on computer science, that you'll get a job that directly involves doing physics research.

You could get involved collaboratively. Say, for example, a major particle physics experiment is planning to employ some new machine learning techniques to analyze the mountains of data the experiment is generating. They may look to hire a CS post-doc to help implement it. That said, the pool of computational physicists is pretty vast, and so the less formal physics training you have, the more of an uphill battle it would be to get a position like that. Further, that's an example of a post-doctoral, temporary position, and not a life-long career.

Another option is getting into some kind of support roll. A collaboration like Compute Canada supports a lot of physics research, as well as research in a wide array of other fields.
 

symbolipoint

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I love both Computer Science and Physics, I find Physics a lot more fun to learn about but I also really enjoy programming and creating things that I can see in action.
(snipped out portion)
(snipped out portion)

The same University does not offer a Physics course, only a Mathemetics one with some (barely any) Theoretical Physics. ..... so should I continue with CS and learn Physics in my own time? Are there jobs where I can combine the two? Thanks.
Either choose Computer Science and give little or no focus to Physics, or transfer to a different university and choose Physics.
 
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So I list to you all the opportunities for a job in physics with a CS background that can be found here in the Chicagoland area.

How will that be relevant to you?

Your inability to comprehend why your question is location-specific and dependent on the opportunity and job market in your area is puzzling.

Zz.
I wasn't asking for you to do a job search for me, I just wanted to know what kind of jobs involve the 2 things. It doesn't matter if you mention a job that you know is only available in 1 area, I have the option to relocate...
 
Hi, not comfortable telling where I live/am going to Uni. All you should know is that the only 2 relevant courses they offer are for Computer Science and Math with Theoretical Physics. My question is really can I be involved with Physics even if I graduate with a BSc or MSci in CS?
The reality that physicists often end up in IT or CS jobs has very little to do with a lot of crossover between physics and CS and a lot more to do with physics just forcing you to be comfortable with teaching yourself everything. The average undergraduate physics program is too busy trying to cram more than three hundred years of math and physics in a bachelor's degree to spend much more than a course or two on any sort of IT or computer science. Anything else you learn is either in an elective course or self-taught, usually to be successful in a research group.

If you're really interested in physics, I agree with what was said above: it's a lot easier to go from physics to CS than the other way around. If you want to do physics but don't have a program available, I would think that you'd be much better off in a math or engineering program for an undergraduate degree while studying on your own a bit to fill in the gaps, then applying to a graduate program in physics. My experience is pretty limited, so take it with a grain of salt, but my work thus far in computational physics has a lot more in common with engineers doing computational fluid dynamics and mathematicians studying nonlinear differential equations than computer scientists working on databases and application development.

Long story short, you probably won't find a lot of physics jobs asking for CS people. Physicists tend to be very proud and very resourceful people, and forcing a graduate student or a postdoc to learn a course worth's of CS material is much easier than trying to explain several years of physics to a programmer.
 

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