Courses which I should prioritise

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In summary, depending on your interests, one of the following courses might be better for you:Automata and ComputabilityCompilersComputer NetworkingComputer GraphicsDatabaseSoftware Engineering
  • #1
spaghetti3451
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Hi, I am an undergraduate double major in Physics and Computer Science, and am hoping to continue with Physics in my graduate school.

At this juncture in my undergraduate life, I have begun to be bored of the Computer Science courses, because I find no relevant use for them in my future graduate school studies. As such, I am hoping if you could suggest which of the following courses might be important for physicists in theoretical condensed matter physics and particle physics so that I study them well:

Automata and Computability
Compilers
Artificial Engineering
Computer Networking
Computer Graphics
Database
Software Engineering
 
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  • #2
Depends on what you want to do in grad school.

Unless your grad work is going to be heavily oriented towards computers then these all seem to be hard to pick a better or worse. If your grad work will be computer oriented, then the specific research topic would be a good guide.

They do seem to have quite a bit of possible market appeal in industrial settings. Again, depending on the area you might want to work in.

Artificial engineering? As opposed to the natural engineering that you find running around loose in the woods? I'm guessing that should be artificial intelligence.
 
  • #3
I may not know what I'm talking about here, but it seems software engineering would have the greatest applications in non-computer science STEM fields. It never hurts to get better at designing software.
 
  • #4
I have begun to be bored of the Computer Science courses, because I find no relevant use for them in my future graduate school studies.
If you're bored with computer science, why choose it as a major?

To answer your question, it really depends on what you enjoy. If you like the theoretical aspects of computer science then take the course on computability. If you wish to further your programming skills, take computer networking. If it's a good course you should get a lot of practice in socket programming and multi-threading.

I may not know what I'm talking about here, but it seems software engineering would have the greatest applications in non-computer science STEM fields.
A course in software engineering is usually a waste of time. It tends to be a high level course taught by an instructor who has no industry experience, though this is not true in all cases. You will generally spend a good deal of time learning about different development methodologies ("waterfall" and "agile" being the most widely discussed), gathering requirements, prototyping, refactoring, testing, and other related topics. There will probably be a small group project toward the end of the course so that you can try putting these concepts to practice.

My point is that the material presented in a software engineering course is generally irrelevant to anyone that does not wish to work as a professional software developer. Even then, it's of dubious value to an undergraduate.
 
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  • #5
Jaeusm said:
My point is that the material presented in a software engineering course is generally irrelevant to anyone that does not wish to work as a professional software developer. Even then, it's of dubious value to an undergraduate.

Exactly my point. I've taken this course in this semester, and I'm bored out of my mind. I see no use learning PHP and MySQL in my graduate school physics curriculum.

Even then, I have to end up taking all those CSE courses, because I've only taken half of the CSE courses toward my major. :frown:
 
  • #6
Maybe you should change you CS major into a minor.
 
  • #7
Yes, I've now decided to switch my major to a minor.

I won't have to do any other CS courses. But, I'll end up taking the following Physics courses:

Numerical Methods
Fluid Mechanics
Nuclear Physics
Reactor Physics
Plasma and Astrophysics
One elective: Group Theory

These courses are compulsory for my physics program, but still they're better than immersing myself in CS courses.
 
  • #8
The numerical methods will "keep your toe in the water" on the computing side of things. And pretty much all of those subjects will potentially make use of a variety of computer methods.

So it is not so much an abrupt break and more of a re-emphasis.

It's an interesting combination of subjects. Soon to be a brand new astrophysicist among us.:smile:
 
  • #9
Well, I could only wish these Physics courses were taught in the proper way at the university. For one thing, none of those courses would involve any computational methods whatsoever. :frown:

Regardless, my interests are in theoretical particle physics, so I am prepping myself in quantum field theory, general relativity through self-study.

Can you recommend a few programs in Canada which are good for theoretical particle physics and which international students like myself have a shot at being admitted to?
 
  • #10
what is artificial engineering?

Automata and Computability might be useful, and possibly computer networking depending on what you do in your field.
 
  • #11
failexam said:
Well, I could only wish these Physics courses were taught in the proper way at the university.

That's how I feel. I swear, if my university offered even half of those classes I'd be a happy camper!
 
  • #12
Well, those are compulsory courses at my university. I feel that they should be made into electives, because a working physicist can get away without a proper knowledge of any of those courses.
 
  • #13
failexam said:
Well, those are compulsory courses at my university. I feel that they should be made into electives, because a working physicist can get away without a proper knowledge of any of those courses.

Those are compulsory courses for physics majors?
 
  • #14
failexam said:
At this juncture in my undergraduate life, I have begun to be bored of the Computer Science courses, because I find no relevant use for them in my future graduate school studies.
Then why not just drop the computer science major and just continue with physics? Aren't you able to drop a major?
 
  • #15
micromass said:
Those are compulsory courses for physics majors?

Yes, those are compulsory !
 
  • #16
micromass said:
Then why not just drop the computer science major and just continue with physics? Aren't you able to drop a major?

Yes, that's what I've decided to do. I've decided to drop the CS major and just graduate with a Physics degree.
 
  • #17
failexam said:
Yes, that's what I've decided to do. I've decided to drop the CS major and just graduate with a Physics degree.

Seems like you took the best decision!
 

Related to Courses which I should prioritise

What are the most important factors to consider when prioritising courses?

The most important factors to consider when prioritising courses include your educational or career goals, the relevance of the course to your field of study or work, the level of difficulty and time commitment required, and the availability of resources such as instructors and course materials.

How can I determine which courses will benefit me the most?

To determine which courses will benefit you the most, you can research the course syllabus and objectives, read reviews from previous students, and consult with academic advisors or professionals in your field of interest.

Should I prioritise courses based on my personal interests or practicality?

It is important to strike a balance between personal interests and practicality when prioritising courses. While it is important to pursue your passions, it is also necessary to consider the practicality and relevance of the course in achieving your educational or career goals.

How many courses should I prioritise at one time?

The number of courses you should prioritise at one time depends on your personal capabilities and time management skills. It is recommended to focus on a manageable number of courses to ensure that you can give each one the attention and effort it requires.

What should I do if I am struggling with a prioritised course?

If you are struggling with a prioritised course, it is important to seek help from your instructor or academic advisor. They can provide additional resources, such as tutoring or study groups, to help you understand the course material better. It is also important to communicate with your instructor and stay organized to stay on top of your coursework.

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