Opinions on Computer Science Watch

Quizz
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#1
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#1
Hi, I didn't meet my offer for Maths and Philosophy and was offered any course in Computer Science or Engineering instead. I have to respond by midday tomorrow and was considering the Computer Science BSc. Then I read this. http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/cjsimms/entry/i_hate_my

It's just a couple of people's opinions but... I dunno, it'd kill to be gazing forlornly at the Maths block with their TFTs. What are the good things about this course? Say you were taking the plunge into a new subject, would this course be a vision of hell?

Alternatively I could take a clearing place at Southampton, KCL or Nottingham for Maths.

Thanks a lot!
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TomX
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#2
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Wait a minute...
You: Give me a place at your uni
Them: Well, we got CS and CE
You: Hmm, do the computers have TFTs?
Them: Err.. no
You: Hell no!!!

Anyway, those replies do seem disheartening for somebody studying CS at Warwick. I'd really hate to study on a badly taught course and would possibly consider going to another university. I know Nottingham have a clearing spot for Mathematics with Computer Science which you may be interested in.

However, talk to more CS students at Warwick. Maybe those students are a minority (obviously you wouldn't have TFT but is it really that bad?).
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Linda
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Do philosophy with computer science like me=)

edit: omg I just read the blog, and well, first of all DCS is not ugly!!!! Its the second prettiest building on campus (after maths, which unfortunatley is right next to it). And the fountains outisde DCS are so pretty. I love working in the labs and gaze out on the green fields and ducks and fountain and the pretty flowers... (yes Im girly). But yeah I admit I do use the maths department linux lab if Im just checking email, doing random browsing... except for when I need to print stuff, yay for free printer credit.

So I only did 60 CATS of CS modules last year (half of what pure CS students do), and they were all good except for one. Systematic Software Developement was a complete disaster, BUT it has been cancelled so you wont ever have to do it.
Computer Science is hardcore. Yes its maths. If you cant handle it do programming, not CS.
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Quizz
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Yeah, I was hoping the TFT thing was just a funding problem or misplaced nostalgia. I wouldn't be so torn if Warwick's computer science didn't rank 10 in the Guardian subject tables, and I know that's not everything but it must be coming from somewhere...
Thanks for the Nottingham alert!
edit Uh, I was attempting sarcasm with that first paragraph. Sorry, my head's been warped by stress.

Linda- heh, but if the course is mostly Philosophy then that's cheating! I will ask the admissions woman but I doubt that's on offer. thanks.
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Linda
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(Original post by Quizz)

Linda- heh, but if the course is mostly Philosophy then that's cheating! I will ask the admissions woman but I doubt that's on offer. thanks.
the philosophy is pretty hardcore too, same as if you did maths and philosophy, with formal logic, diagonal arguments, scientific methods, philosophy of logic and symbolic logic (which basically is a 30 cats module just on Godel's theorem).
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bannedrew
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#6
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I've just finished my first year of CS. There is some truth in that blog. You'll probably spend more time in lectures making fun of the lecturers and their tendency to wear women's clothing than actually learning anything.

I found it pretty dull and I felt like quitting many times but I pushed through and just got the work done. If you have any background in computing, there isn't much you should struggle with in the first year. It's a lot less work than doing maths. I'm sure i'll have a different opinion after the next year though.

oh.. and if you do computer science, put as little effort as possible into proskills. It's pretty much gcse english again just to check that you can actually speak english.
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Quizz
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#7
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Linda - Thanks, that's quite reassuring. The joint honours with phil sounds great and most resembles my original course, unfortunately it's not an option. I can only choose from the courses in the clearing section; PH121 is the most I'll be able to take.

bannedrew - thanks for the advice. That doesn't sound too promising, it can be pretty difficult to work without real motivation but perhaps it's about time I tried. So if the lectures were poor quality, you had to learn a lot through your own resources?

Can anyone offer some confidence in the teaching quality of the CS BSc? Also, I can't find this on the site, what is the weekly duration of private study and lectures supposed to be?
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Linda
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(Original post by Quizz)
Linda - Thanks, that's quite reassuring. The joint honours with phil sounds great and most resembles my original course, unfortunately it's not an option. I can only choose from the courses in the clearing section; PH121 is the most I'll be able to take.

Can anyone offer some confidence in the teaching quality of the CS BSc? Also, I can't find this on the site, what is the weekly duration of private study and lectures supposed to be?
I changed from Economics to PPE to Philosophy to Philosophy with Computer Science... So if you get an offer for CS go see David Miller (he's the coolest lecturer ever) and happens to be in charge of phil with CS, and ask to change. If you want to do the course that is (not many do, Im the only one in my year doing it).

In introduction to programming (the java one, is it called programming for CS now?) they recommended 6 hours of private studying (programming on your own) per week.

In philosophy its 3 hours pre-reading per lecture (you get a list of everything to read before the next lecture). But as if anyone ever reads it all...

CS modules are usually 3 hours per week, and maybe some labs. Philosophy is usually 2 hours per week plus one seminar or tutorial.

So I think I had 20-something lectures per week last year. Fairly heavy compared to pure philosophy students who just get 10-12 per week, *******s. But then they have all the reading to do...

oh and btw Phil with CS isnt a joint honours, its a "philosophy stream". But you can do half-half if you want, I did 60 cats from each last year, but will do 15 cats more from philosophy this year I think... havent quite decided yet.
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davem7
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#9
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(Original post by Quizz)
It's just a couple of people's opinions but... I dunno, it'd kill to be gazing forlornly at the Maths block with their TFTs. What are the good things about this course? Say you were taking the plunge into a new subject, would this course be a vision of hell?
Although you wouldn't be able to get into the maths block 24/7, the main IT rooms in maths are run by ITS, meaning that you can gain access to them whilst the maths block is open. The Linux Lab (A0.01) is by far the best (and most underrated) IT room on campus in my opinion :-)

In terms of the subjects, there's a vast chasm between the style of mathematics that you'd learn in a CS degree (mostly discrete) and on the BSc or MMath degree. So you really have to decide what you want more; to come to Warwick, or to do Maths. At least, that's the way I'd look at it.

Of course this is all moot now since (assumingly) you've phoned them back to let them know. But there's my 2 cents worth.
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JennLlama
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#10
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Well I'd have to agree with bannedrew in that you probably will spend most of your lecture time taking the piss, but I still really enjoy my course (Computer Systems Engineering - combination of CS and Engineering ). The teaching on some modules has been pretty crap but there have been plenty of good ones, and I've found the content interesting enough to want to learn about it anyway, even if the lecturers don't seem to want to teach it! If you think CS (or Engineering for that matter) would be something you're interested in then I'd say Warwick is a pretty good place to do it. You'll probably be able to take option modules from Maths too if you want to (even if it doesn't say so on the website, you can often take "unusual" options instead of credits off the lists offered).
Jenn xx
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castroneves
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#11
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(Original post by TomX)

Anyway, those replies do seem disheartening for somebody studying CS at Warwick..
Hmmmm, dude im hoping these people are in the minority, tho i spose you make of it what you will.
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prit
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#12
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any opinions on the joint hons course - computer and business studies?
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Ynox
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#13
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CBS is alright. Maybe not so strong as CS but not a bad course.

I did BSc Comp Sci and personally know the guy who wrote that blog. A lot of the stuff is ****, but well, a lot was good. As for no TFTs in DCS- that'll probably be sorted soon. Besides, the screens in the sun lab are 19+" good quality crts. The IBM lab _really_ needs an upgrade though.

Be prepared for a lot of hard work throughout the degree though. And be glad that stuff such as Z isn't on the course now.
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Leekey
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#14
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The guy who wrote the blog is a tool (or at least he was being a tool)! CS is a hard degree but if you put the work in then you will get a lot out of it! They have, as Ynox said, made the course much ermmmm.... easier (for lack of a better term) to account for the fact that the material is quite difficult for many people (just wish they had done it earlier so I didn't have to do Z...hehe)!

If you want to do well in CS hen my advice would be to stop thinking about how hard it is and actually attempt to do it (I know people who just look at the mterial and turn away complaining of it being too difficult). If you try then there are ALWAYS people around to help you out with understanding and problems but you have to be willing to give it a go first.
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Quizz
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#15
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#15
Thanks so much for your replies, CS seems a saner option now (which I did take, by the way. davem7 - yes, it was that kind of decision. On reflection I doubt I'd be happier having chosen either, in this case - you can get used to anything!)

It's down to each individual but the course material seems genuinely interesting and challenging; I'm optimistic that lecturers dressed like women need not cause fear. Yeah, I probably will take Maths options for diversity, and of course to spend more time in the stubbornly enchanting Maths block. I was surprised when a member of CS staff I spoke to said modules from humanities departments, besides philosophy, are also encouraged.
A difficult course is good - I usually fall short anyway so at least my results will end up passable...

Thanks again, I'm really looking forward to the course now!
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Leekey
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#16
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(Original post by Quizz)
Thanks again, I'm really looking forward to the course now!
Glad to hear it!

My advice with optional modules in your first year would be to take advantage of the insanely easy give away modules to beef up your final grades! Such modules include Stat Lab and Mathematical Programming! Mathematical programming also leads to more simple modules in later years! I think modules like these boosted my final overall percentage by something silly like 5%!!!

I'm sure you'll get to love DCS and at least some of the people in it!
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JohnSPals
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#17
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(Original post by Quizz)
Thanks a lot!
Lol, my card wouldn't work on their doors even though I had a module in there. So I HATE THEM ALLLLL!! Mwaha

I'll vouch for the teaching quality of the CS department. Okay, I only had the 6 CAT module Further Discrete Maths which was List B for me, but he was one of the best lecturers I had all year: He was clear and went though stuff again if he felt that it wasn't fully understood the first time around, put all the powerpoints up online and provided answers to a past exam (which were pointless because the exam suddenly got WAY harder this year); but most importantly he somehow managed to make the most boring subject ever almost interesting...
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