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Extremely worried software development student

  1. Oct 25, 2007 #1
    I'm doing a double degree in Computer Science and Multimedia (4yrs), but they virtually teach NO MATH in this course (only 1 unit of pre-calc math mostly covering logic....pretty weak). Because I missed out on a lot maths in high school, I am extremely worried that my maths is deficient and this will effect my employability.

    I'm not so much interested in low level systems such as computer hardware as I am in software development. I.e designing systems, developing dynamically driven websites , programming artificial intelligence (such as A* pathfinding) ... and coding in general. Though, I am interested in other types of software such as Flight Management Systems and avionics which I reckon would require a very good understanding of calculus level maths and physics.

    I'm thinking of just dropping the Multimedia part (and doing more Maths) because I reckon it's harming employability. Can someone give me some advice...thanks!

    Multimedia is just stuff like Animation/cartooning, video editing, 3d modelling, user interfaces, digital signal processing .......
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2007 #2


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    Maths is a subject you can study on your own.
    You don't need labs or equipement, just books and time and people here to explain things when you get lost ( a copy of mathematica/mathcad is nice.)

    You don't need a lot of maths for CS but some understanding of vectors and matrices would help your 3d stuff.
  4. Oct 25, 2007 #3


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    But how will he/she demonstrate this to prospective employers? Surely no one takes the "have studied so and so by myself" bit on a resume too seriously.
  5. Oct 25, 2007 #4


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    Only Precalculus for a CS program?? That's ridiculous, you will certainly need more mathematics than that.
  6. Oct 25, 2007 #5
    There's no way you're doing DSP if you don't know any math. DSP is SOOO math oriented, it's not even funny.
  7. Oct 26, 2007 #6
    re: dsp

    In Multimedia DSP is covered mainly on the theoretical level, no furthur. I actually have been thinking about studying maths in my own time (and as mgb_phys recommended), so there's no reason not to. Of course, if the Uni won't teach anymore maths there's really nothing I can do :(
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
  8. Oct 26, 2007 #7


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    It depends what you are doing with a DSP - to design with them you have to eat/sleep/breath fourier space! If they are jsut mentioned in one lecture then fine.
    Same with 3d - you can just use a copy of Maya but to understand what it is doing you need to know matrices.

    I wouldn't worry too much about proving it to an employer - you will get hired in an entry level job then it's up to you to learn everything yourself anyway. - And you thought college was tough! Recognising that you need to learn stuff that isn't on the curriculum/exams is an excellent first step.
  9. Oct 26, 2007 #8
    They won't let you?
  10. Oct 26, 2007 #9
    I actually wouldn't be too worried about it, if you can code that is what matters. But math/physics I think helped me a great deal with problem solving. Knowing how to program in a language isn't important its more if you can solve a problem on a piece of paper, then solving it through code is quite simple. So I think your missing out on that part of your education by not taking physics and higher level math classes.

    If you've done some pretty cool/challenging projects in school you have to def. mention that.

    Heres the problem your going to face, the fact that your degree is "Software Engineering" and you don't go past pre-calc there is no way that degree is ABET accredited. Meaning your degree is equivalent to that of someone who got a degree from a TV commercial that says, get your degree in "computer programming". <--- I was given this response when I asked is it really important to have an accredited degree? to the Dean of Software Engineering at R.I.T. which has an accredited Software Engineering major.

    Meaning, if an employer looks at your resume, and only wants Computer Science majors from accredited schools they won't even look at your application because it fails the first part of the requirement, a 4 year degree from an accredited college.

    So you can take all the math you want, but your still not going to get an accredited Software Engineering degree because your school didn't follow the ABET guidelines which is a big deal. Currently I believe there are only 2 on the east cost that are accredited, 1 is R.I.T.(which everyone is modeling off of) and the other is CMU.

    On the other hand, if you are at a career fair and can impress them with your experience as a software engineering through past projects you'll have a chance to get it.

    So many of the people I currently work with don't even have degree's in computer science, they haven't taken math past calc in high school. Their majors are physiology, forestry, etc.

    They are senior software engineers at IBM. So mentally you don't need a ton of math to program if your not programming in a mathematical domain.

    But in today's business market you need to prove to them that you are just as talented as a computer science graduate which will be the hard part.

    The manager knows what a Computer Science graduate is capiable of, but may not know what a software engineer from a non accredited college is capable of.

    PS: what college is this? it sounds like a DeVry or a technical college, does it have engineering offered as a 4 year degree at your college? if it does you most def. can take more math.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
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