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Do I really need physics for Computers?

  1. Nov 5, 2006 #1
    I'm not sure exactly what I want to do but I'm sure it's with computers. Do I really need physics? Next year I can only chose 4 or 5 subjects (recommended - not more) so I need to know whether physics is one of them. I can't take math because I'm not in extended (the higher/nerdier group). Any suggestions? Would I need anything else?
    I'm taking ICT and Design and possibly this science thing (I'm not sure what it's called they just introduced the subject but you pick a topic and you study it and talk about it and like a debating thing...eg animal testing, global warming you know...) and that would be four with physics...
    I'm not a huge fan of physics so maybe if I took like game design or something creative I might not need it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2006 #2


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    Game design is one of the areas of computer science where you probably will need physics. In any case any CS degree requires two semesters of physics so you'll have to do it one way or another. You should learn as much math as you can. That science thing sounds like a miss, unless you just like debating for its own sake.
  4. Nov 5, 2006 #3
    The teacher said the science thing is a big plus and it builds lots of skills and its more for fun really as there is no exam just an essay and a powerpoint presentation and a few lessons in the week! no teacher I do it on my own the research and stuff hes there just for guidance
  5. Nov 5, 2006 #4
    I'm a computer science major and to get a feel of what the degree makes you take, its alot of physics and math. Infact i'm a Jr. and havn't had any hard core programming courses yet.

    You don't do hardly any science, I took Chem and Chem Lab. That was the extent of the sciences I took for the major.

    Physics: I had to take
    qantum physics and waves

    here are some of the courses that you take

    CSE 103 Intro to Programming Techniques
    CSE 120 Intermediate Programming
    CSE 260 Discrete Math for Computer Science
    CSE 271 Intro to Digital Systems
    CSE 331 Computer Organization & Design
    CSE 411 Operating Systems
    CSE 428 Programming Languages Concepts
    CSE 431 Intro to Computer Architecture
    CSE 465 Data Structures & Algorithms
    ENGL 15 Rhetoric & Composition
    ENGL 30 Honors Freshman Composition
    ENGL 202C Effective Writing: Tech. Writing
    MATH 140 Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
    MATH 141 Calculus with Analytic Geometry II
    MATH 220 Matrices
    MATH 230 Calculus & Vector Analysis III
    PHYS 211 Mechanics
    PHYS 212 Electricity & Magnetism
    PHYS 214 Waves
    CAS 100A/B Effective Speech
    STAT 318 Elementary Probability
    STAT 319 Applied Statistics in Science

    So physics is a big part of the major before you get to the fun stuff. The courses arn't easy but give you good problem solving skills. about half of the class failed Mechanics, then the fallowing year half the class failed E&M , so you might want to study up on that.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2006
  6. Nov 5, 2006 #5
    I think you need to pin down a bit more what you want to do with computers. Some things will require physics. And check with whoever is requiring these things. When you say "do I need to take physics"? Who is going to decide whether or not they want you to take it? A future employer? A degree course admission person?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2006
  7. Nov 5, 2006 #6
    to Mr Coffee I dont take chemistry anymore I quit as soon as I could so thats out of the question.
    and to Oblong I'm not usre what I want I have a whole 3 years to decide but I know it's with computers and most probably design...
  8. Nov 5, 2006 #7
    Design of computers? Or Design of Computer Games?

    You can't just jump into game design or even game programming. Its insanely hard to get into that market and the jobs are very unstable. My uncle is a game programmer and he got his masters in Computer Science.

    But really what it took for him to get a job was the game programming he did on his own, not his GPA or what courses he took but what he could actually do.

    If its Computer Design your interested in, then you might want to think about a Computer Engineering major which is even more math intensive as well as more indeph in physics than the CS major.
  9. Nov 5, 2006 #8


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    It's often been said that you'll learn more than the laws of physics in a physics course.... you'll learn some reasoning skills and problem solving strategies that you probably won't find anywhere else.
  10. Nov 5, 2006 #9
    Ask yourself this: What are the vast majority of supercomputers used for?

    The answer is "physics" :wink:
  11. Nov 5, 2006 #10


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    The only thing I can add (I have no idea how Cyprus' school system works) is that an attitude of avoiding certain subjects -- like chemistry, or physics, or anything else -- is going to cripple your education, and your ability to adapt to a changing work environment.

    Don't be afraid of subjects you don't necessarily "like." They're important, too.

    - Warren
  12. Nov 5, 2006 #11


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    It depends on what area of Computer Science you are going for. In my case i had the choice between Computer Engineering (CE), Computer Science (CS) and Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). The first being more hardware focused, the second more software focused and the third a little of both.
    For CE and CSE you need Physics to understand how and why circuits work and how to build them fromt he ground up, which involves alot of concepts from Electrical Engineering as well.
    For CS you have a little of Physics, but not alot (i graduated with very little Physics). It's mostly Computer Science theory, alot of software development, software guidelines & strategies, problem solving, time/space complexity analysis, etc.
    In CS there is alot more Math than there is Physics, in fact there is alot of Math. I only had to take an extra math course, besides those i took for CS to throw in a Math minor.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2006
  13. Nov 6, 2006 #12
    Its the British system
    Last year it started as a two year course (before all subjects were compulsory like in most high schools)
    my options were to pick between ICT and business and history and Geography. Math and two sciences were compulsory as well as English. I dropped chemistry this year and I had ICT and Geography instead of history and business and I am taking greek and french
    and next year I can do any of the subjects im doing now but only 4 or 5 and theres also thinking skills it sounds good but apparently it is not accepted as an o/a level at most colleges so its not much of a use (the exams we do here now get sent to England. I'm taking GCSEs next year O levels and then A-levels) Hope this clears the system for you it's a little complicated I prefer the American one way better I wish I still lived there!
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