Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    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


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    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:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook