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Math or Physics for 3d graphics/simulations

  1. Jul 18, 2014 #1
    I'm having a hard time figuring out which major, math or physics, would be more suited to do 3d graphics/simulations given a reasonable amount of computer science courses/self study. A math degree has a lot of useful courses like numerical analysis, combinatorics, and discrete math which I'm assuming are useful in all areas of computer science, but I hear a lot about physics majors doing this kind of work which makes me think the higher math isn't that useful.

    Any ideas which one lays a better foundation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2014 #2
    You probably wouldn't use much topology or abstract algebra. It isn't the end of the world if you end up taking one or two courses that aren't directly applicable. It is the end of the world if you do what I did and get a whole PhD that isn't applicable. :)

    Anyway, my answer is none of the above because you should just study computer science. Just get a math minor or something. Or double major if you have funding/time for that.
  4. Jul 19, 2014 #3
    I second this.
  5. Jul 19, 2014 #4
    I agree with this but my situation makes that sort of inefficient. I learned a lot of programming on my own so for computer science I would have to go back and take a bunch of courses even though I know most of the material. So I figured I'd make myself stand out a bit by adding in a lot of math or physics (I have a lot of both of these so it would be much shorter if I just picked math or physics).

    I'm just having a hard time figuring out which bachelor's degree employers would find most useful/respectable for programming in areas such as graphics/simulations(besides computer science since I would have to spend a substantial amount of extra time and money). I've also spent a lot of my teen years doing game programming for fun, so if anyone has input on which one they think would be more useful/respectable for that, it would be nice to know as well.
  6. Jul 20, 2014 #5
    Do you even need a degree?

    It may make a difference which one interests you more because math will be overkill for the math, most likely, and physics will be overkill for the physics. You probably don't need quantum mechanics or statistical mechanics. I wonder if mechanical engineering could even be a better option. I think most physics for graphics is more like engineering-style classical physics.

    Do you know all about algorithms and data structures?
  7. Jul 20, 2014 #6
    I've had a course in algorithms and data structures.

    And yeah the math required seems to be very applied. I guess a better and more specific question would be if physics would supply enough applied math and geometry to compare with an applied math degree for this particular interest.

    As for my personal interest between the two, I like physics more but with math I would have some more room for programming courses I think.
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