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Courses Does Physics course teach basic computing skills?

  1. Oct 17, 2011 #1
    At university of Toronto, do certain physics courses teach computer programmings? or do I need to take extra course for computer
    Not that I don't want to take it but I think I will have full course for both 1st year uni even without the computer courses. I think it is important to learn programming if i am a physics major.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2011 #2
    From what I know it really is important, but I think it's assumed that you already know how to program when you are a physics major. You pretty much have to study it by yourself.
     
  4. Oct 17, 2011 #3
    I have no prior knowledge, can you teach me some stuff that I should know before graduating high school and I shall be learning during the undergrad?
     
  5. Oct 17, 2011 #4
    I haven't reached far from the program myself yet but it's a no brainer that you should get as much math skills and knowledge (preferably as far as calculus) as you can before entering college. Programming skills is a huge plus (though, computational physics is something I'm yet to take)
     
  6. Oct 17, 2011 #5

    jtbell

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    Staff: Mentor

    Surely the UofT web site has course descriptions. If a particular physics course is also intended to teach computer programming, the course description should say so.

    Computer programming is a complex enough subject that it can't really be taught extensively or well as a "sideline" to another course, especially a physics course which is rather demanding to begin with. If you want to learn programming, either take a course in it at some point, or take the time to learn it on your own.
     
  7. Oct 17, 2011 #6
    When I was 16 my school encourage me to take a one year evening course in Fortran computer programming at the local technical college. Just meeting other, and older, people with similar interests was fun & educational. And the course was very useful.

    When I did physics at University I was never offered a computing course, but bashed together some Fortran programmes to analyse data, rather than doing it by hand. That impressed them, might even have raised by grades a notch. Then after I couldn't get a job in physics my whole career has been in computing... that one year evening course was probably the most useful course I ever took.

    So try and find an evening course - make sure it is in a proper programming language - Fortran is still good, though you might find C++ & Java more likely to be on offer these days - these are also good. Pascal, Smalltalk are perhaps less easily found now, but also good (Smalltalk I love!) Visual Basic will do at a pinch.

    If you aren't 16 yet, or just like fun, then check out:

    http://news.squeak.org/2008/10/28/squeak-learn-programming-with-robots-now-free/
     
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