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Quick quesion about degrees

Discussion in 'General' started by liquid_gen, 21 Sep 2008.

  1. liquid_gen

    liquid_gen What's a Dremel?

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    Ive always had a wide variety of interests and as such my career plans have always been changing. So its coming to that time where I have to pick a course for uni and Im sure its either maths, comp sci, or some engineering. My question is, because of the fact that computer science and engineering rely so much on maths, does getting a Bachelor's degree in maths mean I would then be able get a masters degree in any of the above or something similar?
    Basically, Im thinking of doing maths for now and then specialising in something more specific in the future if that's possible.
     
  2. staples

    staples What's a Dremel?

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    I would call up a lecturer and ask but I think a direct shift might be difficult.
    As part of your course you may be able to add some sort of computer science module so that you would be considered as having a strong basic knowledge but I am not sure how likely it might be to move straight into a field your qualification does not have definite experience in.

    Having said that like you have said maths is important and specialising in a particular part of your interests that relate to a particular field is a real possibility. I guess you would just have to find exactly how your maths quality could be put to best use in any particular field.
    Talk to someone at university, any university to be honest! They will offer good guidance and have the knowledge I certainly do not.
    It will also put you on good terms just in case you miss the grade by a small margin and need a favour from the head of the course! ;)
     
  3. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    While maths is important to engineering and comp sci you learn way less than a maths degree in either an engineering degree or a comp sci degree. I would imagine it is harder to switch onto a engineering or compSci masters after doing maths than vice versa to be honest - especially comp sci as most maths courses wont do anything to do with computers - and CompSci Maths isn't nearly the same standard as a maths degree.

    Its likely going to be very hard to switch between courses, and I would imagine you would have wider options at the end with an engineering degree than with either of the other 2 as engineering is such a broad subject - its also very interesting as opposed to maths!

    Basically engineering is more likely to have the medium of everything you want, compsci will mainly have the compsci of what you want and some maths - and maths will have the maths, and (if you're very unlucky) MAPLE :( Check with the university and see what options you have got, im on a physics degree and half of mine is informatics subjects and some is hardcore maths, even doing an engineering course this final year! (not that I recommend physics :D (cause I don't, really.)
     
  4. Fod

    Fod what is the cheesecake?

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    a lot of unis do a combined maths & computer science course. it's a fairly popular choice.
     
  5. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    I'd recommend going for a science or engineerign degree with a secondary or minor degree in math.

    bogomip, how far are you w/ the physics degree? Isn't physics 'phun'!

    Also, when someone says that a science degree is good preparation for an engineering degree, they're lying. Vise-versa is also true.

    liquid_gen, are you going into your first year, or a later year? If in your first year, you still have time to think things through. No matter what you want to go for, there are courses that you're going to need no matter what. Physics, calculus, intro to programming... If you need to stall, take the time and do so. What you don't want is to choose a major, follow it through, and then find out that you didn't go for what you REALLY wanted to.
     
  6. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    The system in the UK is a little different, you can't chose a major subject in your first year, you have to decide before that.
     
  7. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    Final year of computational physics, and heh - 1/8 of physics is interesting, 3/8 is useful but boring, 1/2 is for people who want a career in academia - this is not me :)

    I disagree, I have done a fair amount of engineering stuff in my time and its been helped along significantly by my physics stuff - mechanics is particularly useful, but there are loads of other fields such as condensed matter, optics, thermodynamics that are can be really useful in engineering.
     
  8. Moriquendi

    Moriquendi Bit Tech Biker

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    I'm doing aerospace engineering at Bristol and I have to say that there's an awful lot of maths involved, much more than I'd like TBH. To give you an idea of the first year modules:

    Engineering maths (which isn't really, it's maths that you may eventually need to use in the later years) (20 points)

    Aeronautics and mechanics (that's not nuts & bolts but applied maths) (20 points)

    Fluids and thermodynamics (more applied maths) (20 points)

    Structures and Materials (Think physical chemistry and properties of solids, fairly light on maths this year) (20 points)

    Design and computing (Starting with C programming, CAD and technical drawing (with a pencil!! FFS) and moving on to MATLAB) (20 points)

    Fundamentals of electronics (Very basic if you've done A-level electronics or even physics) (10 points)

    A language (20 points) OR Aerospace vehicle design and system integration ( Aircraft operations and coarse design, stuff like how big does an aircraft need to be?) (10 points)

    I've given the module points as a guide to how much work is involved with each one, however, In my opinion Eng maths should be more like thirty points.

    From this point you can begin to specialise, if you want to do lots of maths then you can, if you like the computing or electronics more then you can do more of that, the second and following years have more options and fewer fixed choices.

    Personally I don't think that a degree in maths would help greatly if you went on to do engineering, they concentrate on very different areas. Whereas doing engineering will give you confidence in mucking around with numbers and using equations that would help you if you went on to do maths.

    One other point to make is that there are lots of engineers that go on to do something completely different, I'm told that engineers are popular in the city because they have the mathematical ability but also have a grounding in the practicalities of the real world and lots of experience in working in a team.

    Anyway, this is my point of view, I also have a very wide range of interests and engineering works very well for me in that regard. I should say that I'm biased against mathematicians and physicists, they tend to have less regard for what's useful and what works in the real world.
    Moriquendi
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2008
  9. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    Hmm, I didn't know that you must choose before 1st year there; it must be plenty stressful for y'all.
    I'm not denying that physics helps with engineering, but it might not be 'as good preparation' as an engineering background. The thing is, many people like to make many generalizations (I obviously am no exception). A good example of what I'm talking about - in physics you learn about semiconductors, band gaps, tunneling, and how PN junctions work. In engineering, you learn about semiconductors, junctions, examples of junctions, and what they can be used for.

    Maybe it's all in the difference between "learning styles." Supposedly it's well documented that engineers and scientists have very different learning styles.

    All I know is that I wish I could think more like an engineer, but that's not really something that can be easily adjusted.

    Anyways, it looks like the UK curriculum is a bit different than it is here. The first year's emphasis is usually on core courses and the fulfillment of many "general requirements."

    All I know is that I don't remember as much from the advanced classes as I should.
     
  10. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    Yep, if you're an engineer already you'll be "OK" on an engineering course ;)

    Science courses lead very nicely into engineering degrees in general, though you would have to cut out large swathes of eng to start with (i.e. a physics graduate going into engineering wouldn't be able to do much chemical engineering, and chemists might have trouble going into mechanical or electrical engineering).

    We choose our "major subjects" about a year before university and need to apply to get on them specific courses. I think I like the american way better :)
     

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