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Picking Engineering Program, choices

  1. Sep 6, 2013 #1
    So I'm very interested in mathematics and computer science, and I would like to work with complex algorithms and mathematical optimization of code I dont want to be a run-of-the-mill programmer.
    Not sure what the exact term is for what I described, anyone knows?

    Anyways what engineering degree is best suited for me?

    I was looking at the CS engineering program and they had very little math they dont even have multi-variable calculus only linear algebra and single variable.

    I was looking at engineering physics and it has the most maths which i like but has a bunch of boring classical physics / modern physics classes. Good thing about it though is that i can pick a Masters in Applied Mathematics branch - System optimization.

    Electrical had good math, cs and circuits but i couldnt pick the Applied Math masters after bachelors.

    Thanks for reading, any help/tips will be greatly appreciated-
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2013 #2
    From your post it seems a degree in applied math (specifically computational) would suit you better than an engineering degree.
  4. Sep 7, 2013 #3
    No I want an engineering degree.
  5. Sep 7, 2013 #4
    Yes but from what you have said it really doesn't sound like an engineering degree is for you.
  6. Sep 11, 2013 #5


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    Computer Science is the field concerned with what you've mentioned above. Many of the mathematics you need for algorithm analysis will be taught in CS courses, so don't rely purely on course prefixes.
  7. Sep 11, 2013 #6
    But an engineering degree will not have you doing what you want. So make your choice.

    The closest you can get with engineering is probably computer engineering (specifically a software engineer). However, that will mainly be developing software for a variety of purposes, or even base level programming for processors, etc. From what I know when it comes to optimizing code in general, that's in the computer science field.

    Even if you decide on an engineering field to go into, even electrical engineering does not offer much math, as well as the majority of your classes will be at a general level and not teach you the material you want.

    You are probably much better off seeking a dual major in CS and Math. Following that you can go on to any grad school for a master's in applied math.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  8. Sep 11, 2013 #7
    There is engineering mathematics, which gives a masters in applied maths.
  9. Sep 12, 2013 #8
  10. Sep 13, 2013 #9


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    A lot of schools offer Computer Science Engineering. At my school, UC Davis, CSE is more rigorous and you have to take a bunch of engineering and math classes. Computer Science in the college of Letters and Science is easier to get through because you don't have to take all the math and circuits and stuff.

    For your interests it sounds like CSE would be a great way to go.

    BTW in my experience Engineering Physics is a tough-to-employ degree compared to CS or EE.
  11. Sep 13, 2013 #10


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    Something that I don't think has been mentioned yet is to pay attention to the elective slots in the programs you are considering.

    Just because the math you want to do is not in the core courses of your major, there's no reason you can't take the courses you're really interested in as electives.
  12. Sep 13, 2013 #11


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    Operations research is sometimes in engineering schools - sometimes called Industrial Engineering. It emphasizes probability, probability modelling (stochastic processes), statistics, and optimization, in a context of how to use it to help industry. Might be the kind of thing you are looking for. Tends to be on the mathematical side, and meshes well with CS and/or Math electives. Just a thought. Here are a couple programs:


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