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CS courses for a Physics major

  1. Data Structures

    5 vote(s)
  2. Logic for Computer Science

    1 vote(s)
  3. Computer Architecture

    1 vote(s)
  4. Numerical Methods

    4 vote(s)
  5. Management Information Systems

    0 vote(s)
  6. Computational Finance

    0 vote(s)
  7. Software Engineering

    1 vote(s)
  8. Distributed Systems

    1 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Jun 16, 2013 #1
    Hello PF :)

    I am a physics-major-wannabe who wishes to increase his employability by supplementing my degree with computer science courses. I have already taken Python and C and will most likely take C++ with Unix next semester. I have a room for two more elective courses, but as a non-CS major, I can only access limited number of courses which are list in the poll. I would appreciate your opinions in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2013 #2
    When you say increase your employability, do you mean open up the possibility to a wider range of non-physics-related jobs, or have a better chance at a physics-related job?
  4. Jun 16, 2013 #3
    I meant the former. Thanks for bringing this up.
  5. Jun 16, 2013 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Data Structures
    Numerical Methods
    and Algorithms (which is not in your list)

    Have the potential to be great courses, but courses very greatly. Keep in mind that programing courses are neither necessary or sufficient to developing useful skills. Try to get on a physics project with some programming for some practical experience.
  6. Jun 16, 2013 #5

    D H

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    There's no description of those courses, or their prerequisites. For example, if the computation finance course has data structures and numerical methods as prerequisites, you might get a hint of the hairy mathematical techniques needed to be a quant. If it doesn't, you're going to learn spread sheets and accounting.

    If you can choose but one, it's a tossup between data structures and numerical methods. If you can take two, those are the two I would recommend. After that, it gets a bit murky. Computer architecture and software engineering are both worthy topics. As for the rest, you didn't give enough information about the courses or about yourself.

    Distributed systems -- Without a synopsis, this could be anything between a trade school level class on how to use middleware to a very hard but worthy class on how to use threads, multiple processes, and multiple processors. MIS? My opinion only, but you don't want to go there. Logic for computer science? Without a synopsis I can't even hazard a guess what that course would be about. Surely it's not a semester long course on Boolean algebra. If it is, you don't want to go there. If it's about NAND gates, NOR gates, flip flops, adders, and ALUs: That's a very worthy topic, but only if you want to major in digital electronics and work for a chip maker.
  7. Jun 16, 2013 #6
    Algorithms are only open to CS majors who pay twice as much tuition as I do :(

    But thanks for the advice, I'll try to get a hands-on project.

    Sorry for missing so much information. Detailed descriptions of the courses can be found here:http://www.ucalendar.uwaterloo.ca/1314/COURSE/course-CS.html
    though I changed the titles little bit.

    It seems like I should take data structures and numerical methods. Thank you everyone.
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