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Is my instructor covering enough of c++?

  1. May 7, 2007 #1
    The textbook used in my C++ community college class is "Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days", and my instructor doesn't really follow the book. Like when we're supposed to cover a certain chapter, he will often omit a lot of the material in that chapter but include material from a chapter way ahead. This is my first programming course so I spend about 6 hours/wk doing hw and studying. Am I getting enough out of this course that I need for my upper-div physics and math courses? The topics covered are:
    variables and constants
    expressions and statements
    functions and basic classes
    more program flow
    data pointers and function pointers
    advanced functions and overloading
    arrays and strings
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2007 #2
    I was required to take a programming class at Community college and ransferred to a double physics/math bachelors. In the three years, I never once had to use that programming. So I guess it depends where you plan to transfer and what classes you plan to take later.
  4. May 7, 2007 #3
    The traditional view is that you teach yourself the syntax outside of class, and the instructor spends time discussing concepts and semantics. It's typical.
  5. May 7, 2007 #4
    I'm transferring to UCLA like you. Really, you never once used C++?
  6. May 8, 2007 #5
    Nope. Whenever some class wanted something computational ( I took Math 151 which was numerical analysis), they usually had a specific software package in mind like mathematica.
  7. May 8, 2007 #6
    so software package like mathematica don't require any computer programming experience?
  8. May 8, 2007 #7
    Mathematica is a computer programming language!

    There are two ways to learn computer programming:

    1) Study a language like C++ in depth. This means that you memorize all the syntax of the language. In C++ you think of a for loop as:

    for ( start ; test; increment) {body}

    2) Another way to learn programming is to concentrate on semantics. In this case you learn what a loop is, and you learn the design issues of loops: what type can the loop counter be, what is the scope of the loop variable, is the test executed once or each time, etc. Every language handles these design issues differently, thats why there are so many languages. The design issues are language dependent, while the loop construct is language independent. Here is some code to do the same thing in three languages:


    Code (Text):
    for( i = 0; i < 10, i++)



    Code (Text):
    For[ i = 0, i < 10, i++,

    Code (Text):

    FOR i IN 0..9 LOOP


    All these example have different syntax for the same semantics. I strongly suggest having programming experience, but don't worry about learning the syntax of a particular language in depth until you are further on.
  9. May 8, 2007 #8
    so I guess I have to learn C++ to learn mathematica and other languages well?
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