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University of Warwick
Coventry

warwick: maths or discrete maths

Hi I am currently in year 13 and have gotten an offer from warwick G103 with an offer of A*A*A. The only thing is that I don't know if it's worth switching from mathematics to discrete maths. The reason I am considering it is because I know that as a career I want to focus on programming and not just maths. Now the reason I am asking this question is because the requirements for warwick maths was a lot harder than the discrete maths which is just A*A*A compared to the maths offer which WAS A*A*A MAT or TMUA which I got it reduced. i understand that the maths course does allow you to pick certain computer science modules but I do not know if that will sort of be enough to pursue a career in programming. It would be awesome if I can get a student in either to lead me to my decision.
SIncerely,
Akira
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 1
I studied Computer Science at Warwick so I provide some comments about the two courses. I studied with many Discrete Mathematics students and quite a few Mathematics students. The two courses are quite different, even compared to other the joint courses run by Mathematics.

The Mathematics course is unsurprisingly run by Mathematics. I think it’s accurate to say that it’s one of the strongest courses in the UK or at least that’s the impression I get from the people I know who picked it. There is the chance to study some computer science modules in each year but it is not really common. In my first and second year the mathematics students were prohibited from studying the first year programming module because the person teaching some of it also taught a programming module in Mathematics. If you can study the programming module based in computer science now then it is better and will set you up for the ones that you could choose to study in later years. The Mathematics students who wanted to learn programming but were prohibited in my year picked the computer architecture modules instead. That module is by far the best computer science module in first year and teaches you enough C that you can pick up other languages quite easily. It also helps if you would like to go into working with hardware, engineering or software-hardware co-design in the future. In second and third year you would have to do programming modules in Mathematics (e.g. Mathematics by Computer) or be at the mercy of computer science staff letting you onto their modules. That might not sound ideal if your goal is to learn programming (crossing your fingers for two years doesn’t sound like a good plan) but Mathematics students from Warwick will go into software engineering positions when they graduate. I don’t think you would be at a big disadvantage at all. The Mathematics course is very strong and there is enough programming to put you in a good position, assuming you pick the right modules.

The Discrete Mathematics courses is mostly run out of Computer Science. Your personal tutor would be in Computer Science and you would go to the course directors or link people in computer science if you have problem or need help with the course. One of them likes Discrete Mathematics students so much that he ignores Computer Science students (literally did not even listen or respond to them) so you will probably get help when you need it. You get less support for the highest credit module in first year (Analysis), which I know a lot of Discrete Mathematics students still aren't happy about. You will get all the computer science and programming modules you could want to study but you might not like them as much as you think if you are splitting your time between computer science and mathematics. Some of the people I studied with would completely rule out software modules because they knew that everyone else (computer scientists) would probably be more better at them because they get more practice in that area. I think Discrete Mathematics is a good course but it is important to think about whether you actually like the content. In my opinion you can learn to program on Mathematics or Discrete Mathematics but studying Discrete Mathematics is more specialised than just adding programming. I think a Discrete Mathematics students would usually be less effective at programming than a Computer Science student and usually less effective at mathematics than a Mathematics students so you really have to want to be good at the specific area of Discrete Mathematics if you choose to do it.

It is important to keep in mind that this is based on my experience and that yours could be different. If you have any specific questions then I can try to answer them too.
Students on campus at the University of Warwick
University of Warwick
Coventry
Reply 2
Original post by AvaWarAI
I studied Computer Science at Warwick so I provide some comments about the two courses. I studied with many Discrete Mathematics students and quite a few Mathematics students. The two courses are quite different, even compared to other the joint courses run by Mathematics.

The Mathematics course is unsurprisingly run by Mathematics. I think it’s accurate to say that it’s one of the strongest courses in the UK or at least that’s the impression I get from the people I know who picked it. There is the chance to study some computer science modules in each year but it is not really common. In my first and second year the mathematics students were prohibited from studying the first year programming module because the person teaching some of it also taught a programming module in Mathematics. If you can study the programming module based in computer science now then it is better and will set you up for the ones that you could choose to study in later years. The Mathematics students who wanted to learn programming but were prohibited in my year picked the computer architecture modules instead. That module is by far the best computer science module in first year and teaches you enough C that you can pick up other languages quite easily. It also helps if you would like to go into working with hardware, engineering or software-hardware co-design in the future. In second and third year you would have to do programming modules in Mathematics (e.g. Mathematics by Computer) or be at the mercy of computer science staff letting you onto their modules. That might not sound ideal if your goal is to learn programming (crossing your fingers for two years doesn’t sound like a good plan) but Mathematics students from Warwick will go into software engineering positions when they graduate. I don’t think you would be at a big disadvantage at all. The Mathematics course is very strong and there is enough programming to put you in a good position, assuming you pick the right modules.

The Discrete Mathematics courses is mostly run out of Computer Science. Your personal tutor would be in Computer Science and you would go to the course directors or link people in computer science if you have problem or need help with the course. One of them likes Discrete Mathematics students so much that he ignores Computer Science students (literally did not even listen or respond to them) so you will probably get help when you need it. You get less support for the highest credit module in first year (Analysis), which I know a lot of Discrete Mathematics students still aren't happy about. You will get all the computer science and programming modules you could want to study but you might not like them as much as you think if you are splitting your time between computer science and mathematics. Some of the people I studied with would completely rule out software modules because they knew that everyone else (computer scientists) would probably be more better at them because they get more practice in that area. I think Discrete Mathematics is a good course but it is important to think about whether you actually like the content. In my opinion you can learn to program on Mathematics or Discrete Mathematics but studying Discrete Mathematics is more specialised than just adding programming. I think a Discrete Mathematics students would usually be less effective at programming than a Computer Science student and usually less effective at mathematics than a Mathematics students so you really have to want to be good at the specific area of Discrete Mathematics if you choose to do it.

It is important to keep in mind that this is based on my experience and that yours could be different. If you have any specific questions then I can try to answer them too.

Wow I wasn’t expecting such an in-depth response thank you so much! I think that has definitely given me a solid footing on what I think I want to choose for the course. Thank you!
Akira
Original post by AvaWarAI
I studied Computer Science at Warwick so I provide some comments about the two courses. I studied with many Discrete Mathematics students and quite a few Mathematics students. The two courses are quite different, even compared to other the joint courses run by Mathematics.

The Mathematics course is unsurprisingly run by Mathematics. I think it’s accurate to say that it’s one of the strongest courses in the UK or at least that’s the impression I get from the people I know who picked it. There is the chance to study some computer science modules in each year but it is not really common. In my first and second year the mathematics students were prohibited from studying the first year programming module because the person teaching some of it also taught a programming module in Mathematics. If you can study the programming module based in computer science now then it is better and will set you up for the ones that you could choose to study in later years. The Mathematics students who wanted to learn programming but were prohibited in my year picked the computer architecture modules instead. That module is by far the best computer science module in first year and teaches you enough C that you can pick up other languages quite easily. It also helps if you would like to go into working with hardware, engineering or software-hardware co-design in the future. In second and third year you would have to do programming modules in Mathematics (e.g. Mathematics by Computer) or be at the mercy of computer science staff letting you onto their modules. That might not sound ideal if your goal is to learn programming (crossing your fingers for two years doesn’t sound like a good plan) but Mathematics students from Warwick will go into software engineering positions when they graduate. I don’t think you would be at a big disadvantage at all. The Mathematics course is very strong and there is enough programming to put you in a good position, assuming you pick the right modules.

The Discrete Mathematics courses is mostly run out of Computer Science. Your personal tutor would be in Computer Science and you would go to the course directors or link people in computer science if you have problem or need help with the course. One of them likes Discrete Mathematics students so much that he ignores Computer Science students (literally did not even listen or respond to them) so you will probably get help when you need it. You get less support for the highest credit module in first year (Analysis), which I know a lot of Discrete Mathematics students still aren't happy about. You will get all the computer science and programming modules you could want to study but you might not like them as much as you think if you are splitting your time between computer science and mathematics. Some of the people I studied with would completely rule out software modules because they knew that everyone else (computer scientists) would probably be more better at them because they get more practice in that area. I think Discrete Mathematics is a good course but it is important to think about whether you actually like the content. In my opinion you can learn to program on Mathematics or Discrete Mathematics but studying Discrete Mathematics is more specialised than just adding programming. I think a Discrete Mathematics students would usually be less effective at programming than a Computer Science student and usually less effective at mathematics than a Mathematics students so you really have to want to be good at the specific area of Discrete Mathematics if you choose to do it.

It is important to keep in mind that this is based on my experience and that yours could be different. If you have any specific questions then I can try to answer them too.

Really informative much appreciative, but I have a question on the student culture of ww straight maths students. Are they competitive/hardworking students similar to what the vibe you get at oxbridge? In terms of workload is it a lot? And as someone who applied for maths has there been current and previous students securing internships at faang companies and ultimately working in that industry?
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous
Really informative much appreciative, but I have a question on the student culture of ww straight maths students. Are they competitive/hardworking students similar to what the vibe you get at oxbridge? In terms of workload is it a lot? And as someone who applied for maths has there been current and previous students securing internships at faang companies and ultimately working in that industry?

I can't answer your last question, but I can say a little on the first 2. The workload is definitely a lot (they recommend 40 hours a week but I'm usually well over that as a first year), so you're kind of forced to have a hardworking cohort - those that aren't willing to put the time and effort in won't last long on the course. It's quite a large cohort so you do get a mix of students, some much more competitive than others, but overall if you want to be in an environment of people heavily focused on their degree you'll be able to find it, and if you want to be around more relaxed people you'll find that too.
@_gcx might be able to give some insight into the maths side of things.

As noted above they are two separate courses though and discrete maths is "owned" by the CS department at Warwick (although also one of their strengths). You do take maths modules from the maths department on that course but you are formally a CS student rather than a maths student, departmentally, as I understand it.

I believe there are opportunities to take programming within the main maths course at Warwick (also in most maths courses in the UK).
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by Akira A Wan
Hi I am currently in year 13 and have gotten an offer from warwick G103 with an offer of A*A*A. The only thing is that I don't know if it's worth switching from mathematics to discrete maths. The reason I am considering it is because I know that as a career I want to focus on programming and not just maths. Now the reason I am asking this question is because the requirements for warwick maths was a lot harder than the discrete maths which is just A*A*A compared to the maths offer which WAS A*A*A MAT or TMUA which I got it reduced. i understand that the maths course does allow you to pick certain computer science modules but I do not know if that will sort of be enough to pursue a career in programming. It would be awesome if I can get a student in either to lead me to my decision.
SIncerely,
Akira

Hi there,

I just came across your post and wanted to ask you if you did end up going to Warwick and if so are you doing DM or Maths? And how are you finding it? I’m also stuck trying to choose between the two atm and would really appreciate your help.

Thanks!
Reply 7
Hi, is there a way to find the job placements after discrete maths BSc course at Warwick? Will much appreciate your guidance here. Thanks
Reply 8
Original post by AvaWarAI
I studied Computer Science at Warwick so I provide some comments about the two courses. I studied with many Discrete Mathematics students and quite a few Mathematics students. The two courses are quite different, even compared to other the joint courses run by Mathematics.

The Mathematics course is unsurprisingly run by Mathematics. I think it’s accurate to say that it’s one of the strongest courses in the UK or at least that’s the impression I get from the people I know who picked it. There is the chance to study some computer science modules in each year but it is not really common. In my first and second year the mathematics students were prohibited from studying the first year programming module because the person teaching some of it also taught a programming module in Mathematics. If you can study the programming module based in computer science now then it is better and will set you up for the ones that you could choose to study in later years. The Mathematics students who wanted to learn programming but were prohibited in my year picked the computer architecture modules instead. That module is by far the best computer science module in first year and teaches you enough C that you can pick up other languages quite easily. It also helps if you would like to go into working with hardware, engineering or software-hardware co-design in the future. In second and third year you would have to do programming modules in Mathematics (e.g. Mathematics by Computer) or be at the mercy of computer science staff letting you onto their modules. That might not sound ideal if your goal is to learn programming (crossing your fingers for two years doesn’t sound like a good plan) but Mathematics students from Warwick will go into software engineering positions when they graduate. I don’t think you would be at a big disadvantage at all. The Mathematics course is very strong and there is enough programming to put you in a good position, assuming you pick the right modules.

The Discrete Mathematics courses is mostly run out of Computer Science. Your personal tutor would be in Computer Science and you would go to the course directors or link people in computer science if you have problem or need help with the course. One of them likes Discrete Mathematics students so much that he ignores Computer Science students (literally did not even listen or respond to them) so you will probably get help when you need it. You get less support for the highest credit module in first year (Analysis), which I know a lot of Discrete Mathematics students still aren't happy about. You will get all the computer science and programming modules you could want to study but you might not like them as much as you think if you are splitting your time between computer science and mathematics. Some of the people I studied with would completely rule out software modules because they knew that everyone else (computer scientists) would probably be more better at them because they get more practice in that area. I think Discrete Mathematics is a good course but it is important to think about whether you actually like the content. In my opinion you can learn to program on Mathematics or Discrete Mathematics but studying Discrete Mathematics is more specialised than just adding programming. I think a Discrete Mathematics students would usually be less effective at programming than a Computer Science student and usually less effective at mathematics than a Mathematics students so you really have to want to be good at the specific area of Discrete Mathematics if you choose to do it.

It is important to keep in mind that this is based on my experience and that yours could be different. If you have any specific questions then I can try to answer them too.

discrete mathematics has gotten a lot better nowadays. You can specialise in maths a lot more easier than maths students. The support given to analysis students is way better (hell you can get support for sets and numbers as well). Discrete mathematics is basically JMC but you do combinatorics I and II. Your only problem of being a DM student, is just being able to juggle between assignments and coursework lol.

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