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Intro to Comp Programming

  1. Aug 3, 2010 #1
    This fall I will be taking the class "Engineering 101: Introduction to Computers and Programming". The general course description can be found http://www.engin.umich.edu/courses/eng101/" [Broken]. It says that we will be learning C++ and MATLAB. I am just wondering how well I will actually know these programming languages at the end of the course? Should I expect to be fluent in them or just have a general understanding? If anyone else has experience in this specific course or any course like it it would be very helpful.

    Thanks all
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2010 #2
    Generally speaking you will use the two languages in the numerical sense. You will not be developing full scale computer software, you will be developing small bits of code using the basics of the language to solve rather basic math and physics problems.

    By the end of the course you will have developed a feel for numerical programming using C++ and MATLAB. You will be brought up from ground zero so there is no need to worry about how much you need to know before the course begins, although any type of programming experience helps.
  4. Aug 3, 2010 #3
    I do have some very limited programming experience (AP Comp Sci) which was in Java. I am not worried about the prior knowledge needed for the class. I am more interested in knowing how much more time it would take to fully know the language. I would like to konw them well enough to market them as a skill to potential employers. If this class on its own is not enough then what would you suggest to further what I learn?
  5. Aug 3, 2010 #4
    If you want to learn a language (programming or otherwise) just do all the stuff you normally would do in that language. Immerse yourself in that language.

    For example, when I was trying to learn Japanese, I would try and translate almost everything I said/thought into Japanese. (I should have carried a dictionary with me). I would have learned vocabulary and complex sentences structures really fast that way.
    For your programming, try doing a lot of the normal math homework problems in whatever language. (You'll probably have to solve them numerically and not analytically though. Also a great skill for employers!)
    Or think of some simple problems and how you could write a computer program to make it easier. For example, make a program that interfaces with your school's class listing so you can plan out your schedule easily. Already exist? who cares! just do it.
    When you run into roadblocks, consider taking those classes (having trouble with algorithms? ok, take a class on it...)

    If you want to fully learn the language, you really have to immerse yourself in it.

    Also, the class is Engr 101. In all honestly, do you think you could take a class called engr 101 and walk out and expert on computer programming?
  6. Aug 3, 2010 #5
    I'm not majoring in computer science or computer engineering so I really cant take too many classes on programming. I have some interest in it but not enough to make it my major. I mainly just want to learn one or two commonly used languages to help career outlook and internship possibilities.

    And no, I didnt think that engr 101 would make me an expert on programming. Just curious on what exactly to expect
  7. Aug 3, 2010 #6
    thats a really vague statement. Do you mean employers like engr firms/financial firms? My understanding is those areas are really really interested in using computers to solve impossible math problems numerically. Or interfacing with hardware. On the other hand, and software design firm might require you to interface with networks or something.

    I took you are you word when you said you wanted to
    and told you want you needed to do- immerse yourself in it. Coto's explanation of the class is almost exactly what to expect. Don't expect to make any GUIs (graphical user interfaces). just learning some basic programming and using that to solve some physics problems or something.
  8. Aug 4, 2010 #7
    Ok. Thanks everyone for the help!!
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