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    Hello fourm,
    I was considering taking CS for my bachelors. Thing is my math is very weak. Did not have it in A levels, and had a D in O levels.
    Is it simple enough that I will be able to cope without a strong recent background in the subject?

    The other option available to me was to go for a Games Development degree. For a fact I know that it involves a lot less math than CS. But the job scope here is very narrow, even in the games industry. They prefer CS students. Want your opinions on this, folks.
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    A good Games Development degree would actually involve more maths than a normal CS degree. Actually, making games is all about using mathematics and physics. For this reason I advise you to reconsider your choice.
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    If you want to make it in the gaming industry, don't do game dev. Do CS.

    At some universities A level maths is a prerequisite, however at many maths at B/C GCSE is often required as CS is essentially a branch of maths. Not being strong with maths isn't exactly ideal to be honest, however it isn't likely to be like the maths you did at school - logic, algorithms, etc. Perhaps email a few universities and ask for their opinions?
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    (Original post by Artifical_Neuron)
    A good Games Development degree would actually involve more maths than a normal CS degree. Actually, making games is all about using mathematics and physics. For this reason I advise you to reconsider your choice.
    Hmm well there are different types of games degrees. The programming side involves the most math. I'm more interested designing. You know, levels, characters etc. I also enjoy the lore bit of games. Enjoy history too.
    Guess CS would not be the best option for me. But if i don't take a games course, what else would you recommend for me?
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    (Original post by Wookie42)
    If you want to make it in the gaming industry, don't do game dev. Do CS.

    At some universities A level maths is a prerequisite, however at many maths at B/C GCSE is often required as CS is essentially a branch of maths. Not being strong with maths isn't exactly ideal to be honest, however it isn't likely to be like the maths you did at school - logic, algorithms, etc. Perhaps email a few universities and ask for their opinions?
    Hmm I see.
    Also, quoting you so you can get notified of my question below your reply.
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    As a games programming student, I take exactly the same modules as the CS students when it comes to maths / programming. The only difference is that rather than networking modules, we take 3D programming modules. These require you to know a good deal about vectors and matrices. I'd recommend reading up on both, it's not particularly complicated.

    I also didn't take A-level maths. I've learned what I need as I go along. I'm sure you can do the same
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    Depends on the course, I'm on my second year at Soton doing CS an it's VERY "mathsy" and theoretical, we actually dont do any programming at all this semester. The maths however is very... well, not what you would often find in any GCSE or A Level course (perhaps if you took decision maths you'd cover a bit). It's a lot of proof work, set theory, computational complexity, formal systems, regular expressions, automatas, etc. I guess some would argue whether or not it is maths at all.

    To be honest even though you need an A at A-Level maths for the course, I'm not too sure how much help it gives as none of what I've learnt was covered or even mentioned at A level.
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    (Original post by spyka)
    Depends on the course, I'm on my second year at Soton doing CS an it's VERY "mathsy" and theoretical, we actually dont do any programming at all this semester. The maths however is very... well, not what you would often find in any GCSE or A Level course (perhaps if you took decision maths you'd cover a bit). It's a lot of proof work, set theory, computational complexity, formal systems, regular expressions, automatas, etc. I guess some would argue whether or not it is maths at all.

    To be honest even though you need an A at A-Level maths for the course, I'm not too sure how much help it gives as none of what I've learnt was covered or even mentioned at A level.
    Doesn't 'proof work' come up in the further pure maths modules in A-level. I'm sure in FP1, there's a chapter called 'proof by mathematical induction'.

    Also, do you think the type of maths in computer science is 'fun'?
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    (Original post by Nines)
    As a games programming student, I take exactly the same modules as the CS students when it comes to maths / programming. The only difference is that rather than networking modules, we take 3D programming modules. These require you to know a good deal about vectors and matrices. I'd recommend reading up on both, it's not particularly complicated.

    I also didn't take A-level maths. I've learned what I need as I go along. I'm sure you can do the same
    Whats your opinion on Computer Science being better than a games degree, even if you plan to get into the video game industry.
    Alot of people doing game dev have told me that it feels like a path to no where and will change their majors. What say you?
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    (Original post by spyka)
    Depends on the course, I'm on my second year at Soton doing CS an it's VERY "mathsy" and theoretical, we actually dont do any programming at all this semester. The maths however is very... well, not what you would often find in any GCSE or A Level course (perhaps if you took decision maths you'd cover a bit). It's a lot of proof work, set theory, computational complexity, formal systems, regular expressions, automatas, etc. I guess some would argue whether or not it is maths at all.

    To be honest even though you need an A at A-Level maths for the course, I'm not too sure how much help it gives as none of what I've learnt was covered or even mentioned at A level.
    Without meaning to cause offence...... that sounds incredibly dry and boring. How are you finding the course?

    Hearing that makes me wonder if the 'computing' end of things would be better for me. I know I would rather be actually learning how to program and do the functional/operational end of things than spending time examining how and why these things work or using advanced mathematics.
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    (Original post by BigV)
    Without meaning to cause offence...... that sounds incredibly dry and boring. How are you finding the course?

    Hearing that makes me wonder if the 'computing' end of things would be better for me. I know I would rather be actually learning how to program and do the functional/operational end of things than spending time examining how and why these things work or using advanced mathematics.
    The point is you don't need to go to University to learn how to program... Most of time such course are a waste of time and try to avoid them.
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    (Original post by farhanbaig)
    Whats your opinion on Computer Science being better than a games degree, even if you plan to get into the video game industry.
    Alot of people doing game dev have told me that it feels like a path to no where and will change their majors. What say you?
    I'm on the fence to be honest. As far as games development goes, you're going to have a serious leg up on CS students, since you'll already be familiar with OpenGL & GLSL, DirectX & HLSL or XNA and how the graphics pipeline works along with various techniques for optimising the work you're doing. (frustum culling, space partitioning, collision techniques, etc.)

    The only drawback with this is that your underlying programming/hardware knowledge is going to suffer, since you'll probably end up having to sacrifice these classes to carry on with the games stuff. An example for me being missing out on concurrent programming in C#, although I'll just learn that in my own time.

    When all said and done it depends how good you are. We had about 150 or so students on our course in my year with a lot of drop-outs. Without sounding harsh, there is a majority of students here that won't be able to cope with making games as they are extremely difficult to make, require very good maths skills and nothing short of excellent C++ skills.

    I feel that games companies often prefer CS graduates because they have a more robust understanding of algorithm design and the "maths behind programming". If you can demonstrate this then I don't think you have anything to worry about. A solid portfolio of your work will do well to swing the vote in your favour when it comes to getting a job in the industry.

    As far as a "path to nowhere" goes, I'm sure that's going to be the case for 90% of the people on the course, as harsh as it sounds. Either way I plan on doing a masters in CS when I graduate, partially because my background as a programmer stems from security, not games and I'd like to keep my options open. A games programming job would certainly be my pick, given the option, though!

    Hope that helps
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    (Original post by BigV)
    Without meaning to cause offence...... that sounds incredibly dry and boring. How are you finding the course?

    Hearing that makes me wonder if the 'computing' end of things would be better for me. I know I would rather be actually learning how to program and do the functional/operational end of things than spending time examining how and why these things work or using advanced mathematics.
    Depends on the University to be honest.
    Computer Science in Edinburgh this semester has been hard, challenging and interesting. Big step up from a doss first year.

    And i've found out CS is A LOT more than just programming.

    Second year Edinburgh, Semester one - Programming languages: Mips assembly, More Java, Python and NLTK(taught by one of the three main developers of the NLTK!), C, C++, XPath, UML and other things.

    We've been programming in System C, a MIPS multi processor for coursework. Learning to use Gtkwave to debug the signals.

    And programming has been a minority of the course taught! Edinburgh expects you to learn a lot of these languages on your own and only gives a few lectures on them. Most of it's covered in labs rather than lectures and tutorials.

    Total Maths work - 4 maths lectures a week. 1 maths tutorial, 2 maths sheets a week.
    You basically do 2 maths courses a semester(in year one to two). And none in Year 3.

    Bare in mind Edinburgh's CS courses are four years instead of three though. But we seem to have covered as much as other Universities so far.
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    (Original post by LysFromParis)
    The point is you don't need to go to University to learn how to program... Most of time such course are a waste of time and try to avoid them.
    A CS course is more about programming though.
    To be fair, yes a large proportion can be taught by yourself. I was very coherant in Java before Uni, writing my own bytecode engineering libraries and stuff at 14. By 16 i knew three languages well and was running a website with 2k members, started by myself.
    Everything was self taught.

    I didnt learn much(barely anything except for some haskell) in first year - but second year i have learnt lots already! And most of it is non-programming related because Edinburgh expect you to be able to teach these things yourself.

    Once you know how to learn a programming language - you can learn any language pretty much. But learning how to learn a language is a small part of CS. In second year you're expected to be able to self teach yourself most of these things although you are supported if you need help. But they don't assign a lot of time to teaching languages.

    We had two lectures on C programming lol, and just two on MIPS assembly. Mostly becase they expect after you've learn Java and understand how MIPS works, you'll have all the tools to learn C programming well, yourself.

    I like that about Edinburgh. The fact they dont teach you stuff that could easily be taught yourself. It does mean there's a lot of extra work of course but it means your not wasting your time here.
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    (Original post by AshleyT)
    Depends on the University to be honest.


    Bare in mind Edinburgh's CS courses are four years instead of three though. But we seem to have covered as much as other Universities so far.
    Am I correct in thinking that all degree courses offered by Edinburgh are 4 years long?

    The point is you don't need to go to University to learn how to program... Most of time such course are a waste of time and try to avoid them.
    ^ I have noticed that many posters on this site take that attitude when discussing pretty much any subject which isn't CS. Obviously you are entitled to your opinion, however I strongly disagree.

    I don't think taking Computing or Computing with Management / Business at a decent Uni is a waste of time.
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    (Original post by BigV)
    Am I correct in thinking that all degree courses offered by Edinburgh are 4 years long?



    ^ I have noticed that many posters on this site take that attitude when discussing pretty much any subject which isn't CS. Obviously you are entitled to your opinion, however I strongly disagree.

    I don't think taking Computing or Computing with Management / Business at a decent Uni is a waste of time.
    You need to learn language but it's something mostly personal work, because lecture can't be very helpful. You need lecture about language philosophy (for example object oriented programming, agent oriented programming etc.) and you're given example in one language, but what else could uni do ? I don't even know how you could grade a language course only.
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    You should check out what modules uni's offer for the CS courses as most of them are different and some degrees might have more maths than others.
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    (Original post by BigV)
    Am I correct in thinking that all degree courses offered by Edinburgh are 4 years long?



    ^ I have noticed that many posters on this site take that attitude when discussing pretty much any subject which isn't CS. Obviously you are entitled to your opinion, however I strongly disagree.

    I don't think taking Computing or Computing with Management / Business at a decent Uni is a waste of time.
    Yes. However you can skip the first year if you have previous programming experience and straight A levels.
    Tuition fees are lower for English students(at the moment) also. I pay 1.7k per year
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    (Original post by Nines)
    I'm on the fence to be honest. As far as games development goes, you're going to have a serious leg up on CS students, since you'll already be familiar with OpenGL & GLSL, DirectX & HLSL or XNA and how the graphics pipeline works along with various techniques for optimising the work you're doing. (frustum culling, space partitioning, collision techniques, etc.)

    The only drawback with this is that your underlying programming/hardware knowledge is going to suffer, since you'll probably end up having to sacrifice these classes to carry on with the games stuff. An example for me being missing out on concurrent programming in C#, although I'll just learn that in my own time.

    When all said and done it depends how good you are. We had about 150 or so students on our course in my year with a lot of drop-outs. Without sounding harsh, there is a majority of students here that won't be able to cope with making games as they are extremely difficult to make, require very good maths skills and nothing short of excellent C++ skills.

    I feel that games companies often prefer CS graduates because they have a more robust understanding of algorithm design and the "maths behind programming". If you can demonstrate this then I don't think you have anything to worry about. A solid portfolio of your work will do well to swing the vote in your favour when it comes to getting a job in the industry.

    As far as a "path to nowhere" goes, I'm sure that's going to be the case for 90% of the people on the course, as harsh as it sounds. Either way I plan on doing a masters in CS when I graduate, partially because my background as a programmer stems from security, not games and I'd like to keep my options open. A games programming job would certainly be my pick, given the option, though!

    Hope that helps
    I see what you mean, man.
    Thanks for taking the time to explain in detail
 
 
 
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