1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Engineering Question regarding a career in computer engineering

  1. Sep 30, 2007 #1
    my major as of now is computer engineering. i have taken calculus 1 and currently enrolled in calculus 2. i wanted to know how much of calculus will be used on the job later on because im struggling in math.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2007 #2
    Computers "think" in math, so it's kinda important. How important depends on where you want to take your career. Calculus...some areas will use it alot, others won't. Linear algebra tends to be more useful as far as I can tell. Problem setup will likely be vastly more important than solving existing equations.

    Calc I is usually differentiation, then Calc II teaching integration. Sometimes the order is different. Integration can be a bit odd when you first start it, hang in there. Once it stops being unfamiliar, the algebra is really the hard part. If you're studying the delta-epsilon method, it also tends to make it a bit harder to grasp.
  4. Sep 30, 2007 #3
    ok thanks alot. also i wanted to know under what category would network administration fall under.
  5. Sep 30, 2007 #4
    Network administration tends to be more about specific skills and experience. Education tends more towards 2-year programs, certificates...it's mostly about how well you know the stuff their systems use.
  6. Oct 1, 2007 #5
    Yah I agree, Network Admin is stuff high school kids can get certified for, you don't need a 4 year comp eng degree.

    My friend is a Comp Eng, he co-oped for Cisco and all he did was replace network cards, very lame.

    He was quite disappointed as well, but if you don't have a masters or PHd in comp eng you really don't have much of an option.

    Definitely not hardware design.

    But to get to your question, you don't need any calculus to do network admin.

    Note if what you want to do for a career is network admin and you don't like math, then you might want to look into majors such as Information System Technology (IST).

    I think the highest they go into math is Calc 1 and one of their domains is I believe Network admin.

    My friend who was working for CISCO was with a bunch of IST majors and they had much more knowledge of network admin then he did.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  7. Oct 1, 2007 #6
    If you take computer engineering courses, you'll hardly have to deal with Calculus. The way to succeed in those courses is to ** do practice problems **, and lots of them.

    I'm taking an advanced, upper-level digital systems design course and we don't touch any complex math really. We work with binary signals a lot... I would be able to worry if you can think critically enough.

    Calculus shouldn't be a of great concern, it should be your foundation/elementary courses that you have to take to be an engineer. You should still know calculus.

    If you're weak in math in general, I'd probably stay away from engineering as a whole.

    Also remember, engineer's will make a higher salary than some network admin. It's well worth the effort.

    Actually I should be studying, I have a test tomorrow :p Hope this helps.
  8. Oct 1, 2007 #7
    ok thanks alot. i don't like math that much and i am having problems grasping the concepts. However i do like working on computers and i'm pretty good with tech work and networking. any suggestions on what i should go into?
  9. Oct 1, 2007 #8
    Again, IST. If your good at hands on and not math/physics/theory/engineering, IST, you'll get paid less though. Company's want IST majors so they can pay them less than a full fledged comp engineer because you don't need to be a engineer to do that type of job.

    On the other hand if they want someone to design a processor or write test benches they wouldn't hire an IST major.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  10. Oct 2, 2007 #9
    In my previous post, I didnt watn to make it seem like computer engineers use no math, which is untrue. I meant for that post to be geared towards digital systems design.

    As a computer engineering student, you'll have to take courses that cover Signals and Systems or whatever your school may call it... it's VERY heavy in math... Complex #s, integration (summations as well), derivatives, etc. It's probably going to be the most math intensive class youll have to take.

    You are likely to take Discrete Math as well, I know I don't since I'm an EE.
  11. Oct 2, 2007 #10
    I am a computer engineer myself and what he said is completely true. In fact, I'm taking Signals and Systems, Discrete structures at the same time lol
  12. Oct 3, 2007 #11
    Signals :( Gotta love that class.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook