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    Salutations TSR,

    I am planning to do some IT preparation for the engineering degree. Would Anyone who is doing an engineering degree at uni mind giving my an advice on where to start? (which programming language would be a good idea to learn before my course starts?)

    thanks!
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    shup
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    Complete waste of time: there are far more important things for mechanical engineers to learn than programming.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Complete waste of time: there are far more important things for mechanical engineers to learn than programming.
    Don't you use things like MatLab, Fortran?C/C++ for some analysis problems? MS excel?
    I am pretty sure IT skills are quite significant for engineers. My grandfather is chartered mech. eng and he strongly recommends it.
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    (Original post by kaosu_souzousha)
    Don't you use things like MatLab, Fortran?C/C++ for some analysis problems? MS excel?
    I am pretty sure IT skills are quite significant for engineers. My grandfather is chartered mech. eng and he strongly recommends it.
    The things you need to know are pretty easily covered at uni, but if your set on doing something then teaching yourself C would probably give you the biggest advantage.
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    (Original post by Mendax_Sane)
    The things you need to know are pretty easily covered at uni, but if your set on doing something then teaching yourself C would probably give you the biggest advantage.
    Thanks for the advice. I was leaning towards the C as well.
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    It depends on the uni, could be anything but C is a good bet.
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    (Original post by kaosu_souzousha)
    Don't you use things like MatLab, Fortran?C/C++ for some analysis problems? MS excel?
    I am pretty sure IT skills are quite significant for engineers. My grandfather is chartered mech. eng and he strongly recommends it.
    Never used Fortran or C. Never ever heard of any graduates in industry ever coming across them either.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Complete waste of time: there are far more important things for mechanical engineers to learn than programming.
    Isn't this a gross over-generalisation??? Although I would agree that most do not do any programming in working life there are many who do! It might not be anything large-scale, it might be just a bit of scripting to analyse some data but it is a useful skill to have lying around in the mental toolbox. :confused:
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    (Original post by shiny)
    Isn't this a gross over-generalisation??? Although I would agree that most do not do any programming in working life there are many who do! It might not be anything large-scale, it might be just a bit of scripting to analyse some data but it is a useful skill to have lying around in the mental toolbox. :confused:
    It is not a generalisation because it's not an important thing for a prospective mechanical engineering student to learn for before university. As someone who is currently doing said degree, I'd advise people to make sure that they are ****-hot at calculus, circuit principles and basic mechanics as this is where when I tripped up I tripped up at, and everyone else I know: the basics weren't cemented in strong enough, but it's assumed by the lecturers that they are, so lots of steps are missed out in derivations in the lecture notes.
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    Yeah, well anyway, a bit of knowledge of procedural programming (e.g. in C or C++) and you'll be fine. If you know what conditionals are (e.g. if statements), loops (e.g. for- and while-) and something about modularisation (e.g. functions) that is cool if you want to get some learning in before uni. It means you don't have to learn from scratch if you get any programming orientated projects. MATLAB or some other high-level scripting language is normally used but it might be tricky (and expensive) for you to get hold of a copy of MATLAB before you are a registered student but generally learning any form of procedural programming language can be helpful for those computing modules.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    It is not a generalisation because it's not an important thing for a prospective mechanical engineering student to learn for before university. As someone who is currently doing said degree, I'd advise people to make sure that they are ****-hot at calculus, circuit principles and basic mechanics as this is where when I tripped up I tripped up at, and everyone else I know: the basics weren't cemented in strong enough, but it's assumed by the lecturers that they are, so lots of steps are missed out in derivations in the lecture notes.
    By circuit principles you mean : resistors ( in parallel and series) , capacitors , kirchkoff laws , ohms law and all that kind of stuff?
    How many hours do you usually spent on lectures and individual study? I have recieved a booklet from Loughtborough and there is an estimate on what you need to do and how many hours it takes. After you substruct all the "activities" from the total amount of hours in the week, you are baraly left with any hours to sleep and eat
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    (Original post by kaosu_souzousha)
    By circuit principles you mean : resistors ( in parallel and series) , capacitors , kirchkoff laws , ohms law and all that kind of stuff?
    Yes.

    How many hours do you usually spent on lectures and individual study? I have recieved a booklet from Loughtborough and there is an estimate on what you need to do and how many hours it takes. After you substruct all the "activities" from the total amount of hours in the week, you are baraly left with any hours to sleep and eat
    I don't know. Definitely a huge amount, though, and if I was to do every single tutorial question then it'd probably take more hours than there are in the week! But you've got to be smart and study the things that you struggle with the most.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    It is not a generalisation because it's not an important thing for a prospective mechanical engineering student to learn for before university. As someone who is currently doing said degree, I'd advise people to make sure that they are ****-hot at calculus, circuit principles and basic mechanics as this is where when I tripped up I tripped up at, and everyone else I know: the basics weren't cemented in strong enough, but it's assumed by the lecturers that they are, so lots of steps are missed out in derivations in the lecture notes.
    it doesn't hurt to grasp the basic concepts of matlab before university. most university courses lack preparation in matlab when matlab is an integral part of engineering degrees.
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    (Original post by shiny)
    Yeah, well anyway, a bit of knowledge of procedural programming (e.g. in C or C++) and you'll be fine. If you know what conditionals are (e.g. if statements), loops (e.g. for- and while-) and something about modularisation (e.g. functions) that is cool if you want to get some learning in before uni. It means you don't have to learn from scratch if you get any programming orientated projects. MATLAB or some other high-level scripting language is normally used but it might be tricky (and expensive) for you to get hold of a copy of MATLAB before you are a registered student but generally learning any form of procedural programming language can be helpful for those computing modules.
    good advice, particularly with regards to matlab, although i doubt the OP would ever encounter C or C++. matlab won't only be necessary for computational modules, if you become proficient enough in it you can use it to your advantage in a variety of projects from different modules. i'm finding that it's one of the major things that separates the super first class students (i suppose 80%+) from the first class students. bearing in mind there are so many first class engineering students nowadays.
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    (Original post by Cataclysmic)
    it doesn't hurt to grasp the basic concepts of matlab before university. most university courses lack preparation in matlab when matlab is an integral part of engineering degrees.
    I don't know about that at all - mine didn't and I don't know anyone who ever was stuck with Matlab.
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    aside from the argument going on here....

    if you want to learn some programming languages matlab/octave and C are by far the most useful to learn. we use both quite a bit. if you haven't done any programming before i'd personally start with matlab/octave as it's generally more forgiving and easier to learn.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I don't know about that at all - mine didn't and I don't know anyone who ever was stuck with Matlab.
    i suppose it's all relative. coming from a university that leads in computational engineering and invented the finite element method, expectations are very high in matlab, and the set assignments are stupidly difficult. i assume your university isn't particularly research orientated if you don't know anyone who ever 'got stuck on MATLAB'. even at Cambridge you're going to find students with difficulties in matlab.
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    (Original post by Cataclysmic)
    i suppose it's all relative. coming from a university that leads in computational engineering and invented the finite element method, expectations are very high in matlab, and the set assignments are stupidly difficult. i assume your university isn't particularly research orientated if you don't know anyone who ever 'got stuck on MATLAB'. even at Cambridge you're going to find students with difficulties in matlab.
    Yes, we're more focused on teaching and getting graduates into work as engineers. Our Matlab work hasn't been that difficult so far - although I haven't done any FEA or CFD yet.
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    Matlab sounds scary....
 
 
 
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