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Old 02-02-2012, 07:47 AM   #4
tigertheory
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Default Re: Bad at math and science, should I still major in comp science?

I'm finishing up a Computer Science degree this semester. While I'm sure it's completely dependent on the school, mine doesn't stress advanced math. Calc I is the highest required.

If you like programming but don't like math, you could certainly program games - to a degree. The part that really separates programmers from computer scientists is the math, the understanding of the underlying logic and the desire to change the logic for optimization. With that said, if you don't have a firm grasp of algebra you will struggle with algorithm analysis. In other words, you can program, but you can't advance into an engineer.

I was talking to a friend of mine who currently works for SOE about this very thing. I was worried that I screwed myself by only taking Calc I, worried that I didn't know as much math as I should've. He reassured me that most of the advanced math classes don't talk about math as a game programmer would. The relevant advanced math that he has is self-taught - specifically 3d math.

My advice would be to assess your other areas of interest/proficiency and build on those. See if there's something else you are good at, that you enjoy, that can be useful to game development. If you like programming but hate math, then I would stop looking at programming as a career entry point and instead just look at it as a hobby. Build your career and specialization around something you genuinely enjoy rather than trying to become good at something you don't enjoy just because it might get your foot in the door, because your forced expertise will show.

Also, should you decide not to go into programming, don't look at your last 1-2 years of learning programming as a waste of time. The rudimentary programming knowledge that you've gained through that 1-2 years will also show - in a positive way. Being able to communicate with programmers, even if you aren't one, is a valuable asset.
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