Not sure if physics/cs is right for me

  • Thread starter CyberShot
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In summary: Also, what kind of cognitive personality type do you think I have?Your problem is not that you can't program because you're too brilliant for a compiler to ever understand you, it's that you think this is the case and that's what is holding you back. Programming is very difficult for most people, and you just might be one of those in the majority that has to grind through it until you get the hang of it. Making excuses will NOT help you, ever.If this were physics, you couldn't say, 'Well I come up with these complex and creative ways to solve a problem in physics, but the universe simply doesn't allow me to make mathematical errors!' You need to
  • #1
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I'm currently a third year physics major who is thinking about switching to computer science. I'm growing more frustrated every time with each programming assignment because I feel like I have this unique way of solving complex computational tasks, and when it comes time to implementation, the detail-requirement nature of programming kicks in and ruins all my great ideas! I have to make sure every line is "right", or the compiler can't understand my instructions.

This is why I feel like I'm not going anywhere in computer science. I feel like I'm wasting my time with details, trying to shape my method of solution into the "right" form for the compiler to understand.

I guess what I'm asking is what kind of major is the best match for someone who relies almost 100% on intuition, tends to approach problems VERY independently, always coming up with solutions using a different, sometimes unorthodox, route, and is very, very uninterested in details, like having to learn what the compiler decides is "right" so that it could properly implement my correct psuedo-codic algorithms?

Also, what kind of cognitive personality type do you think I have?

Thanks!
 
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  • #2
Your problem is not that you can't program because you're too brilliant for a compiler to ever understand you, it's that you think this is the case and that's what is holding you back. Programming is very difficult for most people, and you just might be one of those in the majority that has to grind through it until you get the hang of it. Making excuses will NOT help you, ever.

If this were physics, you couldn't say, 'Well I come up with these complex and creative ways to solve a problem in physics, but the universe simply doesn't allow me to make mathematical errors!' You need to pay more attention to your work.

Also, as an aside, computer science is not all programming, but for your sake, I wouldn't worry about that. You don't have to be a devilishly badass programmer to succeed, but your attitude won't help you get anywhere.
 
  • #3
What you have:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect" [Broken]
What you don't have:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigour" [Broken]

Intuition can only take a certain length before it is rendered useless. There's nothing intuitive in infinity,complex numbers n-spheres and countless other subjects, Nonetheless these subjects propelled humanity forward in the quest for the ultimate truth (and the ultimate Ipod).

You attend an institution of learning and pay them to do exactly that. You don't go to college just so your beliefs and views will approved.

P.s

Before saying any of the examples above is intuitive, please consider that to YOU right NOW after studing and broadening your horizons it may seem intuitive, If you would try to explain some of these concepts to say ancient Greeks.
 
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  • #4
You're just trying to start trouble aren't you? Didn't we say philosophy was the best major for you?
 
  • #6
CyberShot said:
I'm currently a third year physics major who is thinking about switching to computer science. I'm growing more frustrated every time with each programming assignment because I feel like I have this unique way of solving complex computational tasks, and when it comes time to implementation, the detail-requirement nature of programming kicks in and ruins all my great ideas! I have to make sure every line is "right", or the compiler can't understand my instructions.

This is why I feel like I'm not going anywhere in computer science. I feel like I'm wasting my time with details, trying to shape my method of solution into the "right" form for the compiler to understand.

First of all, if you are having trouble with undergraduate-level programming assignments, then you must have trouble with logical thinking, because that is all that these undergrad-level assignments really require (aside from the ability to listen to a lecture or read a book to understand terminology and concepts).

Second of all, given the above (that you have trouble with logical thinking, which is ultimately the way people pose, outline, and solve problems), it is unlikely that you have a unique way of solving complex problems. Likely, you have a stubborn way of not solving simple problems.

CyberShot said:
I guess what I'm asking is what kind of major is the best match for someone who relies almost 100% on intuition, tends to approach problems VERY independently, always coming up with solutions using a different, sometimes unorthodox, route, and is very, very uninterested in details, like having to learn what the compiler decides is "right" so that it could properly implement my correct psuedo-codic algorithms?

You'd have to define intuition here. Intuition in solving math problems? Intuition in proposing biological theories? Intuition in creating works of art? My sense is that you don't have the intuition in solving math/physics problems the way you think you do.

Most important piece of advice I can give you: being uninterested in details makes you neither unorthodox nor independent. Every time you choose not to pay attention to a detail to the point that you understand what is behind that detail, you are choosing not to learn something. It is rather orthodox and usual to choose not to learn.

CyberShot said:
Also, what kind of cognitive personality type do you think I have?

Thanks!

If you want to understand your style of learning/perceiving the world, think about it for yourself. Models won't get you there. Neither will being dishonest with yourself.
 
  • #7
^^^^^^^ We already said all that stuff. Don't rekindle the flames.
 
  • #8
I wish I had a Kindle
 

1. What is the difference between physics and computer science?

Physics is a natural science that studies the physical world and its properties, while computer science is a discipline that deals with the theory and methods of processing information. Physics involves understanding the fundamental laws of the universe and conducting experiments, while computer science involves designing, creating, and analyzing algorithms and computer systems.

2. How do I know if I have the skills for physics or computer science?

Both physics and computer science require strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Physics also requires a strong foundation in mathematics, while computer science requires logical thinking and programming skills. If you enjoy solving complex problems and have an interest in science and technology, you may have the skills for both fields.

3. Is it possible to pursue both physics and computer science?

Yes, it is possible to pursue both fields. In fact, many modern advances in physics rely heavily on computer science, such as simulations and data analysis. You can also choose to specialize in a subfield that combines both disciplines, such as computational physics or quantum computing.

4. What career opportunities are available in physics and computer science?

There are a wide range of career opportunities in both fields. With a degree in physics, you can work in research, academia, or in industries such as healthcare, energy, and aerospace. Similarly, with a degree in computer science, you can work in software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, and many other industries.

5. How can I determine if physics or computer science is the right choice for me?

The best way to determine if physics or computer science is the right choice for you is to explore both fields through courses, internships, and research opportunities. Talk to professionals in the field and see which topics and projects interest you the most. It is also important to consider your career goals and personal strengths to make an informed decision.

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