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Programs Hesitation -- Computer Science, Microengineering or Physics

  1. Apr 24, 2016 #1

    I'm applying at a swiss univerity (EPFL) and I already have to pick my major.

    Here's the thing :

    I currently love programming. I enjoy finding beautiful ways to solve math programming challenges on the net. (I code in Python). I love automating stuff with programming. I love projects : I love having a current project that occupied my mind for some time, that I work hard to finish and that I can be proud of once it's accomplished. (I did a lot of 3D images with Blender partly for this reason)

    But : if I go into the CS department, that means I'll never be able to understand electronics, or have engineering basics. The thing is, I would love to be a practical person. I admire the 'household-hacker' way of thinking. These persons that fix their tech themselves, that build their office desks themselves, that install gears and pulleys to dampen a violent door in their house. Basically people that make stuff, for personal use, that works.

    That's why I was thinking of going into Microengineering : because it clearly is multidisciplinary. It has electronics, materials science, engineering, and some programming.

    But I fear 2 things : First, I've always been clumsy, and not very practical. I want to learn the engineering stuff, but I fear I might suck at it.

    Second, and more importantly : I fear I might miss on out advanced maths and physics. I know some people who studied classical physics, and work as researchers in fascinating topics (Quantum computing, Astronomy). And when I talk to them, I really tend to think that doing research is way more fulfilling and fascinating than being an engineer (and just coding software, for example)

    So there I am. I just can't decide between all these possibilities. I just want to do and try so many things. Thank you, if you read this !
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2016 #2


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    Gold Member

    My simple and short recommendation is to see what you're mostly interested in and you're willing to spend your time and efforts on it, as all these you mention need different qualities as you go along the path. On the other hand, you must be sure to acquire a decent background if you need to go for a different major some time, as the job market(s) undergo rapid changes due to global economy factors.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
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