Natural Sciences, Mathematics B and Computer Science Watch

lyranew
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Hello all,

I was lucky enough to receive an offer from Cambridge to study Natural Sciences a couple of months ago, but I now had a few questions about the course which I hoped the collective mind of Student Room contributors could answer.

Regarding the Mathematics B course:
1) How difficult is it?
2) What are its prerequisites? (i.e. UMS in Maths / FM, STEP...)
3) How does it compare to the maths that engineers / comp scis / mathmos do?

Regarding the Computer Science course in Natural Sciences:
4) Again, how difficult is it? (because one friend tells me it is impossible)
5) How feasible is it to do only Comp Sci in years 2 and 3 having taken Computer Science in the first year of a Nat Sci course?

Contributions from past / current / soon-to-be and hopeful students welcome

Cheers
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Sparticus515
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1st year CompSci who switched from Maths B to A so hopefully I can give you some help

1) Unless you really enjoy maths you'll probably find it quite difficult, I found it stupidly difficult but Maths A is brilliant for me, it's much easier and in the end you do the same exam so I find it a better option.
2)There are no set requirements, but we were told unless you had over 95% over maths and further maths not to bother, although it is easy to change from B to A but not so easy the other way around.
3)Can't talk for mathmos or engineers but it's very different from the maths CompScis do. It's closer to A Level maths where it's just many topics thrown together whereas we do mainly discrete maths as part of the compsci course

4)It's difficult, but then again every course at Cambridge is. I find it harder than maths but easier than Physics but everyones different, if you have a programmers mind you shouldn't struggle too much with it.
5)It's possible, although if this is your plan you'd probably be better switching before you start as you'd miss half of the first year of the compsci tripos by switching at the end of the year which would take a lot of catching up over summer.
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lyranew
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(Original post by Sparticus515)
1st year CompSci who switched from Maths B to A so hopefully I can give you some help

1) Unless you really enjoy maths you'll probably find it quite difficult, I found it stupidly difficult but Maths A is brilliant for me, it's much easier and in the end you do the same exam so I find it a better option.
2)There are no set requirements, but we were told unless you had over 95% over maths and further maths not to bother, although it is easy to change from B to A but not so easy the other way around.
3)Can't talk for mathmos or engineers but it's very different from the maths CompScis do. It's closer to A Level maths where it's just many topics thrown together whereas we do mainly discrete maths as part of the compsci course

4)It's difficult, but then again every course at Cambridge is. I find it harder than maths but easier than Physics but everyones different, if you have a programmers mind you shouldn't struggle too much with it.
5)It's possible, although if this is your plan you'd probably be better switching before you start as you'd miss half of the first year of the compsci tripos by switching at the end of the year which would take a lot of catching up over summer.
Thanks Sparticus - very helpful. I suppose I'll have to wait and see what my DoS thinks of it all before committing to Maths B or Comp Sci then (that is, as long as I make my offer...). I also don't want to switch immediately to Comp Sci because I'm still very unsure about what I want to study in the long term (could be anything from evolutionary bio to comp sci ).
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excal9
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As a phys natsci doing maths b and compsci, I'd personally say the maths is fine/as you'd expect. However, I strongly dislike compsci, the course last term was ok, but the first term was pretty hard (for me), I find that it takes up more of my time than the other 3 subjects combined (maths b, phys, chem)
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lyranew
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excal9, did you start the compsci course as a beginner or did you have some programming experience beforehand?
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