Moving to computer science from physics

  • Thread starter kamuss
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  • #1
Hello everybody, I am currently studying for my master in physics in Canada, but I have become really interested in theoretical computer science, especially AI and machine learning, the question is what are my chances of being able to obtain a graduate position in a computer science department, my strength lie in mathematics and physics not in coding, I can write code by I am by no means an expert programming, I can learn but as stated I am interested more in the theoretical aspect. Also in my background apart from math there are no CS related classes I have a good GPA (3.6 in BS and MS) and GRE (800 QUANT, 900 Subject) also I have the chance of continuing to the PhD at my current institution, but the job prospects are better in CS. What advise can you give me, your help is greatly appreciated. Best regards.

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Hi all!

(Right now I'm an undergrad EE)

I'm really having trouble deciding which field to choose in future. I want to go in the field of research and from what I know, CS has wider opportunities for research as compared to TE. Is that right?

Besides, I have a deep interest for philosophy in general and I think CS has a greater blend of Philosophy with Science (consciousness, virtual reality etc.etc.) as compared to engineering.

Another option would be Computer Engineering. How's that?

I'm really confused on these issues and any guidance would be highly appreciated.

  • #3
A friend of mine owns a business designing and machining custom parts for guns and special industries. Up to this point all of his designs are hand sketches. He wants to be able to electronicall document his designs so that he does not have to search for his hand sketches every time a customer asks him to reproduce the part. He has come to me asking for help either teaching him to use Solidworks to generate drawings or having me take his sketches and draw them in Solidworks.

I had a one year internship where I used Solidworks on a daily basis. I also used Solidworks throughout 5 years of college to document project design. On a scale of 1-10 (poor to excellent skills) I would rate my proficiency to use Solidowrks at a 7. I currently work for a manufacturing company as a design engineer where I use pro/e to generate drawings for manufacturing. Laying all this out, I have experience drafting.

1) How much should I charge to tutor my friend to use Solidworks? I typically charge $20-$30 when tutoring high school and college students in mathematics and engineeing. Should I charge in the same range?

2) How much should I charge to do the drawings myself? Since I have a full-time job I do not have to worry about insurance. However, I do have to think about taxes. I was looking online at payscale .com and the national range in wages is $13.25-$19.58.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
  • #4
Hi, hoping for some help.

Major: math w/computational emphasis (emphasis on programming essentially)
Minors: physics and computer science

I'm wondering what my job prospects are, in this difficult economy...
(oh, and I'm a woman)

Fortunately, I live near Fargo, ND, with a better than national unemployment rate (around 4.5% unemployment, since I last checked). But this could change soon.

I started at a tech college (as a computer network security major), taking Cisco 1 and 2, Linux fundamentals, computer repair, Windows network operating systems, and a few other courses.

Then I went to the local university majoring in math with a computational emphasis. I've had, so far:
Calc. 1, 2, and 3
Differential equations
Linear Algebra
Math modeling
Discrete math
University (calc-based) physics 1, 2, and 3
Modern physics (special relativity, schrodinger's wave equation, the H-atom, etc.)
Computer science (C++ based courses) 1 and 2
Advanced programming (C++, mostly inheritance/composition of classes, binary search trees, pointer and templated classes, advanced algorithms such as Dijkstra's algorithm, etc. ...was one of the hardest classes I ever took, harder than math or physics for me)
Php/SQL programming class
Networking (advanced concepts/algorithms in networking)
Analog electronics (wiring circuit boards, using circuit components, etc.)

And additionally, I've taken some other tech college classes:
Java programming
C++ game programming

I was also a member of my physics teacher's robotics club, using the Boe-Bot (requires use of a circuit board and circuit components) and the Basic programming language

And actually, what I'm finding is I like robotics the best, yet there is no robotics major in any local college (and I would like to stay in this area).

For my major, I still have to take some math courses, such as numerical analysis, probability/stats, intermediate analysis, and a writing-intensive math class, but I'm nearly done with the math. I also have to yet take a graphical user interface programming class. For my minors there are some classes left to take as well, in particular computer architecture classes and lab-based physics classes.

But what I'm wondering is if anyone could offer some advice.
Should I keep on pursuing the track I'm on, or should I vary it a bit? Like I mentioned, I really have a passion for robotics, but could I enter this field (I suppose of building/programming industry- or business-oriented robots, i.e. even computer controllers in autos) with the courses I have so far?
Or should I instead be pursuing an engineering-based major?

I'm really getting worried because my college loans are piling up...
Thank you for any advice you can offer :-)
  • #5
I'm currently a senior - on the way to obtaining a BS degree in Computer Science this coming semester, and I was interested in pursuing a MS in Comp. engineering..So I was wondering if any of you that have experience in the comp. engineering field would be able to answer some of my questions..I'm mainly concerned because my CS dept. does not enforce taking too much extra math courses or science courses (other then what's already included within CS courses itself)

So far in my undergrad study, i've taken only calc 1 and calc 2, and I'm planning on taking multi 1 and linear algebra next semester...would taking these courses benefit me for grad school in engineering? Doing some research, I understand that most engineering students take calc 1,2, multi 1,2, linear algbebra and differential equations as the I'm assuming that this would be a good thing for me to do. What do you guys think?

Also, I know that physics is definitely one of the most basic engineering courses to take and I've only taken a basic physics course to just fulfill core requirements. Since there's no time for me now to take physics as undergrad, most probably I'll end up taking physics as a perquisite at the grad school if I'm accepted.

The closest course I've taken to CE in my CS course load was "Computer Organization", where we learned a lot about binary manipulation, combinational/sequential circuits. Other then that, I have no other experience with circuitry, or extensive knowledge of hardware involved in computers (just general knowledge of the components of a PC, and how they work, what the purpose is, adding/removing parts, etc). So if I'm accepted to MS program, do you think I'll be at a disadvantage compared to the other students who have probably done undergrad work in electrical/comp. engineering? I'm just worried mainly about not knowing what's going on...sorry for the long post.

Thanks for the replies

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