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Need Opinions On Majors/Minors (Update from last year's post)

  1. Aug 15, 2013 #1
    First, An update from the post I made last year(Just skip down to the bottom part if you don't want to read)

    Hey guys, long time, no see. I actually forgot i was registered here until I just did some searching through my email and stumbled across a post I made here a year and a half ago. Back then, I was talking about how bad I sucked at Math and how it was killing me in College. It literally destroyed my GPA down from like a 3.4 to ~2.66. However (though it may seem like I'm avoiding blame), I must say that in college thus far, I have had my run-ins with a few terrible teachers. I thought it was just me, but so many people in our school had the hardest time in the world getting past TRIGONOMETRY. I ended up having to take it 4x before I passed it (I felt like a complete idiot). Things just weren't clicking for me. That first time I took the class, 60 people took it and only 5 passed. The head of our Math Department was so mad at the teacher, I can't recall him teaching anything past College Algebra now. Anyway, this past Spring I had a few teachers on my schedule who had terrible ratings. 1 teacher had like a 1.5/5 (My Comp 1900 teacher) and the other a 2/5 (My Trig Teacher). Here's how that situation went down:

    • My Major is Computer Science. I am a fairly decent coder, but I couldn't get past math (apparently a lot of Comp Sci majors at my school suck at math). I went to tutoring everyday from 12:30pm until closing M-F. Most days that was an almost 7hr stay.
      My Trig Teacher was flighty and unfocused at times, but I persevered and ended up making a B. I was so happy! My teacher did have fairly low ratings but since I passed, I couldn't complain. She wasn't downright terrible, but I could see why she had her rating.

    • I ended up getting a permit from the Computer Science Department to take my next Computer Class (Comp 1900) even though I didn't have the Calc I co/pre-requisite. The thing about it tho, was that there was only 1 teacher I could take and her rating was (1.5/5).I was the only person in there in Trig and I swear to god the teacher had it out for me from the first day. The lady literally KICKED ME OUT OF CLASS like the 1st or 2nd day of class because she found out I was in Trigonometry. It was so embarassing. She called me out in front of the entire class. Not to mention I sat right up front so I had to pack all my stuff and walk past everyone. I emailed my advisor and he cleared everything up, and dude the teacher was mad the entire semester.

    • Not to mention, we had to pick a group to be in and we couldn't change for the rest of the term. I don't know if it was a race issue/stereotyping or what, but dude the people in my group wouldn't communicate with me for anything in the world. Our group leader would do all the work by himself. For one of our projects, I completed it the same day, it worked, but the guy still used his own code. Every assignment we did, the guy put my name as the last one on the list. One guy in the group literally did absolutely nothing, while the other guy in our group took 3wks off, and my name was still the last one on each of our assignments.

    • You know how in most college classes you know whether you need to drop the course before midterms? Well this lady gave us a grade for one of our most crucial assignments back almost a month past the deadline. I think at that point, if you would've dropped the class, you would have made an F.

    • I stuck around because I was still doing fairly well. There were ~60 people in this class; ~40 dropped the class. The teacher decided to let us work with new people so I ended up partnering with a student in my class who was also a Math tutor who was bad at coding; therefore I knew for sure we hardly made any mistakes. I had a passing lab grade, but missed 1 In-Class Assignment and can you believe I made a D+ in the class??? We had a test review over recursive methods and I was the only person in the class answering questions. The teacher gave us a this conditional and asked what would happen. I told her that the recursive method would terminate because 8<10. She literally snapped at me and said I was wrong. I thought I made a careless mistake (because at the time I was still fairly bad at math). She literally stopped class and traced the code thoroughly for 5min and then admitted I was right. The entire class just laughed at her. I didn't argue with the lady or anything, but when the people started laughing at her, she really didn't take it too well. That teacher worked my nerves so bad that I was on the verge of changing major to Japanese. I looked at my course paradigm for the next semester and that teacher was the only teacher I was going to be able to take for the next 3 or 4 classes for my major. I went and declared the major the same day, but both my Japanese and Computer Science advisors recommended I just double major since I'm far enough in my Comp Science degree. The head of the math department told the teacher that she wasn't too enthusiastic about the grades her students were making. She ended up failing a lot of people and just retired in May.

    • I ended up having to take Comp 1900 over and I had to take calculus just to play catchup. I had the best Math teacher I've had in almost 10years for Calc I. It was time consuming, but I ended up making a B+. She rekindled my interest to learn math. If you think about it, that was a major turnaround. It took me 4x to pass Trig but only one time to pass Calculus I. As I also mentioned, I had to take Comp 1900 over again. The thing about it is I literally only took one page of notes the entire semester, turned in all the exact same work I did in the spring for both the class and the lab, and ended up coming out with an A+.(<---- Isn't that something..). In all honesty, this semester in Summer School has been the best semester I've had in College. I've never made a bad grade when I've had a good teacher. I make at least a B. I realized that our school forces you to take the bad teachers in the Fall and Spring, and give you the better, high ranked teachers and Grad students in the summer. I ended up meeting some nice people as well. I made friends with this guy from Ethiopia who is a Math wiz. He offered to help me with my math since I helped him with his coding projects. Nobody else wanted to take me up on my offer to do a study group besides this guy. The other guy in my group ended up borderline passing/failing and so did this other guy I took Calculus with. Either way, I extended my arm to help multiple people. They declined, I passed, they failed. (Are people generally like this in colleges everywhere? I don't think I come across as an arrogant person, if anything I hardly ever speak)

    Questions about the major/minor
    Okay after summer school, my GPA went up from a 2.66 to a 2.81. I could possibly have a 3.0 again in the spring and can apply for a few scholarships. Currently my Major is Computer Science(3.660 GPA)/Japanese(4.0 GPA) and I'm an undeclared Math Minor (2.88 GPA but will go up b/c my comp classes count for both degrees). My advisor explained to me that by the time I finish with Computer Science, I will only need to take Calc III and I will have completed a Math Minor with no additional time added to my graduation (Spring 2015). However, I was just reading online and a lot of people say Minors pretty much don't account for anything in the real world. How true is this?
    • Should I just stick with the Math minor or make it a math major & switch the Japanese to a minor? After taking Calc I over the summer, I have a new found interest in math and I was considering a degree in Mathematics pending on whether or not I pass Calc II (Which is supposedly the hardest one of the three).
    • Or should I just stick to my normal plan, graduate with the Japanese/Comp major and math minor, then come back and work on a math degree (while possibly being in grad school), or should I just forget seeking a Math Degree altogether as long as I do efficiently well in my pursuits of a minor?
    • Though I did pick up the Japanese major as a plan B in case my Comp Sci plan didn't work out, I was exposed to some real eye opening opportunities for the first time since I've been in college. I'm pretty adept at learning languages. As a matter of fact, I am currently at 3, but over the span of ~6 months, I should be able to communicate at an intermediate level of the languages I'm studying besides Japanese, bringing my total up to 6. I had a meeting with this lady from Japan and she told me that since I wasn't a senior, I couldn't get the job she was offering. However, I was the only person there who was a computer programmer. She jotted down my contact info and stated that I will almost certainly be guaranteed a job in Japan because they are always looking for computer scientists. I also found out that it's a bonus with me being a native english speaker because some people hire you on the side to teach English to their employees or children. The Japanese staff is so nice at my school, they really feel like family. My Japanese advisor said there are a couple of Comp Sci double majors in the department, but I'm seriously wondering who they are and how good they are (one of the guys took class with me and failed over the summer).

    • I was also wondering if it is more beneficial for me to compile some more foreign language minors with my degree? Will this help broaden my horizon in the job field? Maybe I don't have to minor in each language as long as I can understand them, however, do you think I would be better off seeking something more along the lines of a business minor (or some sort of economics related minor)?

    • Should I just use my foreign languages (besides Japanese) as a bailout to try and boost my GPA? For instance, one of the languages I'm about to study by myself is Italian (It is the only language of the 3 I'm studying that is offered by my school). I think our school allows you to take foreign language placement tests for $60. I'm not sure of exactly how it works, but I think it gives you the credits for the classes you haven't taken yet based on how high your grade is. For example, let's say I make a B on my Italian exam and they deem that as being good enough to place me in an Intermediate level course. I will receive a B in ITAL 1010 and 1020 and will be placed in 2010. By theory that should boost my GPA. (but I will email one of my advisors to find out).
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2013 #2
    I do not think that minors mean much in the real world. If you are interested in a subject that isn't your major you should get a minor. Also a Math degree is not like calculus. I would wait to decide if you want to get a math major until you take your first proof class.
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