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Computer Science at UofMan

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    Is there anybody who could give me a direct view of how Computer Science is at University of Manchester? Further I would like to know what the main difference between CS and SE is.
    I am leaving the Physics department in order to pick up a CS degree, it would be very helpful to have a few thoughts about it.
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    (Original post by edo1493)
    Is there anybody who could give me a direct view of how Computer Science is at University of Manchester? Further I would like to know what the main difference between CS and SE is.
    I am leaving the Physics department in order to pick up a CS degree, it would be very helpful to have a few thoughts about it.
    I'm about to finish 1st year doing Internet Computing which is under the School of Computer Science. I can honestly say my computing units have been brilliant and the teachers are fantastic. The resources the CS department has are immense compared to other departments, many of the lecture theatres were re-fitted last September and I believe funding was issued for more re-fits which will be ready for the upcoming September.

    The department uses Linux almost exclusively and therefore the CS department computers are off-limits to everyone who doesn't do CS (except some business students which sometimes go into one of the labs to use Windows).

    If you're starting first year then I highly encourage you to get-ahead by buying and reading through some of http://www.amazon.co.uk/Java-Just-Ti...4334355&sr=8-1 the book is used for all of the Java units which counts for 30 credits for year 1, the book is written by John Latham who also teaches the course at the school. Note: When you start first year John will likely offer the book cheaply e.g. £10 from the SSO, but it's worth the extra £4 to get a headstart by getting it from amazon.

    The differences between pure CS and SE are none-existent in first year, you do identical units. The only difference further-on are the options you're allowed to choose differ a bit and some optionals for CS are mandatory for SE. Aside from that the differences are very minimal and you'll often find that the classes are mixed with CS, SE and AI students.
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    Thanks, I am super excited!
    Do you guys learn other programming languages or just Java?
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    First year we've done Java, ARM Assembly, Python (not to a formal extent, it's used in Fundamentals of Distributed Systems) and web (PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS). You also do Linux shell scripting but that's not assessed you simply do it to improve your own efficiency, John Latham will give you a couple of lab tasks using shell scripts though.

    Second year we'll be doing C as part of Software Engineering/Algorithms modules
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    Thanks !
    I have been using GNU/Linux for the last four years, I guess it won't be a problem..
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    We currently use Fedora 14 with a custom-made AnotherLevelUp http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~jtl/ALU/index.html

    It's an old Linux version, but serves its purpose and is 'usually' stable. AnotherLevelUp is definitely not as user-friendly as the generic GUI's like GNOME, so you'll find some of the 'extra features' in AnotherLevelUp will need switching off :P

    One tip I wish someone had given me before starting was that 'ssh -XC' is your friend and will allow you to interface with any of the school computers from home, it's brilliant for using the ARM Simulator since it's custom software made by the school.

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Updated: April 19, 2012
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