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Linear algebra or intro to programming courses have higher failure rate?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

which has higher failure rate: linear algebra or intro to programming. I understand failure rate might be skewed: math majors, who are gifted and interested in math, are required to take linear algebra but not intro to programming, while CS majors are required to take both. Which class do CS majors tend to struggle with more?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
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which has higher failure rate: linear algebra or intro to programming. I understand failure rate might be skewed: math majors, who are gifted and interested in math, are required to take linear algebra but not intro to programming, while CS majors are required to take both. Which class do CS majors tend to struggle with more?
Why would a CS major have a problem with an Intro to Programming course? That would be kind of a red flag, no?
 
  • #3
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Why would a CS major have a problem with an Intro to Programming course? That would be kind of a red flag, no?
This is/was true at some schools where they have a high level of students wanting to pursue CS and so they use an intro course to screen out students.

My first experience of this was in the 80's when my wife took a CS class. It had a 50% drop out rate and I asked why and was told its to weed out the students who don't already know something about programming and this was just before the era of the personal computer. I'm sure big universities do this still although its more accepted and students are expected to have a high level of proficiency when they attend the class.
 
  • #4
berkeman
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Interesting, I did not know that. Thanks.
 
  • #5
analogdesign
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At my university Intro to CS had a much higher failure rate because a lot of "non-traditional" students such as liberal arts majors took it.
 

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