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Omg, why do I have to take these classes for a math degree?

  1. Jul 30, 2005 #1
    I am considering switching from a chem/physics dual to a physics/math dual, and for the math degree I need to take intro to database systems and computer science 1. Are the computer science classes necessary in a math curriculum???? This is insane. Maybe they will waive those classes and let me take something else....

    I know what comp sci classes entail, and the curricula drive me insane.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2005 #2
    Ask your advisor since most of us here probably have no clue about what school you are going to.

    Here the first computer programming class is required for Math, Physics, and Engineering degrees.
  4. Jul 30, 2005 #3
    yes, but I have to take intro to C, computer science 1, database systems. These are core requirements....this just seems ridiculous.
  5. Jul 30, 2005 #4
    you mentioned database? here's a good lesson from my life experience:
    "you will never regret to learn database!"
    i believe the same thing for other comp sci modules. programming skills is vital for physicists and math-man.
  6. Jul 30, 2005 #5
    either way, it is what it is. accept it or dont switch.
  7. Jul 30, 2005 #6
    well, maybe they'll waive the courses for me since I am double majoring.

    I'll ask, but I doubt they'll do it....maybe they'll let me substitute the courses for other math courses....
  8. Jul 30, 2005 #7


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    Yup, highly unlikely they will let you waive or substitute the courses. Ask them why you have to take it and im sure there going to give you a very good reason as to why you need them.
  9. Jul 31, 2005 #8
    yeah, that's what i'd expect.

    now, it's not uncommon at all for a programming course to be required for a math major (it was for university of florida, but starting 2005 it isn't!). don't even know what a database is, but...if it's a requirement, it's a requirement.
  10. Jul 31, 2005 #9
    At my school you have to take a few programming classes as well for your math degree, and the few math majors I know who use this stuff use it for either numerical integration for dynamical systems or for graph theory. Regardless, it never hurts to know how to use a computer.
  11. Jul 31, 2005 #10
    Ah stop complaining, at my school these courses were required for a math degree

    1 semester comp sci
    1 year of science/w labs
    1 year history
    1 year literature
    1 year philosophy
    1 year theology
    1 year foreign language
    1.5 years of social science
    1 semester of fine arts
    1 year of humanities
    1 semester ethics
  12. Jul 31, 2005 #11


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    Don't listen to JasonJo's advice. If you talk to the people in the math department, you may find some flexibility, I know I have. I believe my program either requires or recommends 1 or 2 computer courses, but I already had those requirements (if they were requirements at all) before I joined the math program, so I'm not sure. You should be able to find out whether something is required for your program or not. If not, then you're fine, if it is required, then talk to the people in the math department. Chances are, they won't waive a requirement, but there's no harm in trying (sometimes they're not that serious about the things that are technically requirements) or if you can make a special case for yourself, then you might be able to do without the computer course.
  13. Jul 31, 2005 #12

    my guess is that most of those are general education requirements, no?
  14. Jul 31, 2005 #13
    My school doesn't seem to be very lenient with catalog of entry 'requirements', but this is from my experiences with humanities classes and such....I don't know about comp. sci. requirements in the math program.
  15. Jul 31, 2005 #14


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    What is more general education than using computers? I hear that at present and in the future using computers might be a useful skill. Maybe that requirement should apply to all majors and the math department is the one that is on top of things ensuring that its students have a well rounded education and learn useful skills. That said you could try to get it waived and take something else. Maybe they have indroduction to sliderule or abacus for enginears.
  16. Jul 31, 2005 #15
    knowing how to code in C++ or SQL really isn't all that useful especially considering you need at least 2 courses to develop the skills necessary to do anything useful with it. If they are going to require mandatory computer courses that everyone has to take, classes like intro to C++ and SQL shouldn't be the ones.

    Anything you learn how to do in an intro comp. sci course you can do more efficiently in a program like Excel.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  17. Jul 31, 2005 #16
    I would certainly hope so. Still that is a ton of bs classes to take for a math degree. Here it is much lower than what he has to take. The only non-math class required for a degree, other than the core curriculum classes, is one CS class.

    Here it breaks down to (in semesters): 3 science, 3 english, 4 social science, 3 humanities, 1 foreign lang, 2 fine arts. Then, 1 comp sci, and the rest math.
  18. Jul 31, 2005 #17

    All the courses I listed are the core curriculum for the school of arts and science, so ALL science and arts majors have to take all those classes.

    I also forgot that you have to have 1 year of math as well.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  19. Jul 31, 2005 #18
    lol, I only need english comp, and 15 credits of humanities.
  20. Jul 31, 2005 #19
    I assume knowing how to program is a pre-requisite for this course?
    You'll probably do stuff like recursion, binary trees, avl trees, linked lists, algo analysis, stacks, queues, etc. I know it isn't my cup of tea, but some people like it. If they make you take it, try to go in with a positive attitude and do your best!:)
  21. Jul 31, 2005 #20
    yeah, that's what i figured.

    at university of florida (and i think all florida schools), we have university requirements, which are basic, and college requirements, which are a bit more stringent.

    i don't know all of the req's off the top of my head, but it's something like:

    general: one english composition,
    two (maybe three?) humanities,
    three social science,
    two international-focus (which is usually also humanities),
    two math,
    three science, not all of which physical or biological
    [and in so doing, it is assumed that one has satisfied the odd "gordon rule" requirements]

    college of liberal arts and sciences: all of the above mentioned, except...

    four science classes, two physical and two biological;
    one science lab;
    ten credit hours of foreign language (usually two or three courses, depending) if you can't pass the relevant SAT II or otherwise demonstrate proficiency;
    several "junior-level" electives outside primary major

    anyway, that's the best i could do from memory.

    all schools seem to have similar requirements.

    and i got most of these taken care of with AP credit! :cool:

    now, i woudln't doubt that it's a possibility that there will be some sort of computer requirement in the future, but... i don't know. programming wouldn't be very useful for a lit major. :grumpy:

    then again, apparently my parents (psych and psych/french) had to complete some programming project at dartmouth, and they graduated in the 70s! :eek:
  22. Jul 31, 2005 #21
    Unfortunately educational institutions aren't geared toward education, instead they are geared toward making people jump through hoops and satisfy requirements that are usually based more on what's available at the school than what a student really needs to know.

    It's all geared toward money. Most college professors that I know tell the undergraduates outright, "If you want to actually learn something wait until after you graduate to study it".

    Very seriously, I've learned the hard way that if you want a degree you are much better off just taking the easiest courses you can find to get the initial undergraduate degree and then worry about studying stuff for real after that.

    Actually in your case I'd just drop the math major and go with the physics. You can still take all the math courses you want and learn what you need instead of taking crap you don't want to waste your time on.
  23. Jul 31, 2005 #22
    C++ you only need to take a datastructures course. but i gotta laugh in saying databases...thats a funny one are you sure its not datastructures?

    "Anything you learn how to do in an intro comp. sci course you can do more efficiently in a program like Excel." dependso n what your doing....i mean f your looking for a short equation then probably but matlab is even easier. But in the long run if your doing mathematical simulations i don't know of any scientist that uses excel unless you count psychologists.
  24. Jul 31, 2005 #23
    http://www.ltu.edu/arts_sciences/mathematics/undergrad.index.asp [Broken]

    I have to take Database systems - MCS3543

    database systems
    "Organization of database systems. Data definition, retrieval, manipulation. Relational data bases, SQL. Practice using standard databases. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit"

    comp sci 1
    Introduction to computer science. Simple, iterative, and conditional statements. Enumerated variable types, procedures and functions, single and multidimensional arrays, bubble sort, linear search, simple file input/output (sequential). Lect. 3 hrs. Lab. 1 hr. 4 hours credit

    I've already had intro to C, since it is required for a physics degree.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  25. Jul 31, 2005 #24
    If your going into math/phys I suggest you ask for DB to be replaced with one of hte following if your looking to supplement with another cs course.

    Virtual Realtiy/Computer graphics/Computational Geometry/Computability/ or the 2 better choices numerical analysis II(well depending on what they teach..if its FFTs(DSP) or eigensystems then take it) & data structures.

    other options: robotics/intelligent systems(though I find alot of AI outlines are pretty shotty), architecture/OO design.
  26. Jul 31, 2005 #25
    Prerequisite: MCS4813. Numerical techniques for the solution of ordinary differential equations, matrix exponential computations, matrix inversion. Selected topics. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    Prerequisite: MCS2514 and MCS2523. Analysis of algorithms, Big Oh notation, asymptotic behavior. Advanced sorting (heapsort, quicksort), external sorting. Binary, multiway, and AVL trees. Lect. 4 hrs. 4 hours credit

    Prerequisite: MCS2534. Introduction to artificial intelligence. Knowledge representation and acquisition, decision trees, logic programming, non-deterministic and non-algorithmic problem solving, forward and backward chaining, symbol processing, predicate logic. Expert systems. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    Prerequisite: MCS2514. Basic structure of computer hardware and assembly programming. Internal representations, processing unit arithmetic, memory addressing modes, stack processing, CISC, RISC. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. The second course on theory of computation. Introduces decidability, computability, and computational complexity. Church’s Thesis; undecidability; reducibility and completeness; recursive functions; time complexity and NP-completeness. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. Implicit and explicit representations of curves in the plane; vectors and transformations; curves and surfaces in space. Splines and other representations. Computational issues in intersection, minimum distance, edge detection and projection algorithms. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    Prerequisite: Permission of department chair and technical proficiency in one of: architecture design, programming, modeling, or painting. A project based hands-on course. Teams with members of varied backgrounds build immersive virtual worlds to solve real world scientific visualizations problems. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. Introduction to artificial intelligence and computational intelligence. Problem solving by searching. Optimization methods. Knowledge representation and reasoning. Machine learning. Multi-agent systems. Pattern recognition. Introduction to evolutionary computation. Introduction to artificial neural networks. Fuzzy logic. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. Characteristics of real-time computing. Introduction to robotics, control theories, modeling finite state machines, design methodologies for real-time systems, process synchronization using semaphores, Lego robots and developing robot programs using various programming languages and different real-time operating systems for autonomous mobile robots such as Khepera and Lego RIS. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    Here are some of the classes that are similar to what you mentioned.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
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