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Old 07-03-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
battle2010
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Default Help. Computer Science course selection.

Hi, I am an international student with equivalent undergrad degree in computer engineering. This fall I start my MS in Computer Science at NYU poly. However I have no idea what kind of a resume would a gaming house go for. I wish to be a combination of programmer and animator. I dunno whether that's possible or even logical. But my inclination is more towards the programming side. I am utterly confused as to which courses I should select for my MS. I am required to select 6 course out of the core courses and 4 courses out of the general electives. Below is a list of courses I have to choose from. The ones in bold are those which I'm definitely selecting. Please suggest the rest of the courses I should take. Or is this program a completely wrong way to make it as game programmer? Any help would be appreciated.

Systems Core Area
CS 6133 Computer Architecture I, Credits: 3.00
CS 6143 Computer Architecture II, Credits: 3.00
CS 6233 Introduction to Operating Systems, Credits: 3.00
CS 6243 Operating Systems II, Credits: 3.00
CS 6253 Distributed Operating Systems, Credits: 3.00
CS 6843 Computer Networking, Credits: 3.00
CS 6813 Information, Security and Privacy, Credits: 3.00
CS 6823 Network Security, Credits: 3.00

Theory Core Area
CS 6003 Foundations of Computer Science, Credits: 3.00
CS 6033 Design and Analysis of Algorithms I, Credits: 3.00
CS 6043 Design and Analysis of Algorithms II, Credits: 3.00
CS 6753 Theory of Computation, Credits: 3.00
CS 6903 Modern Cryptography, Credits: 3.00
CS 6703 Computational Geometry, Credits: 3.00

Programming/Software Core Area
CS 6063 Software Engineering I, Credits: 3.00
CS 6073 Software Engineering II, Credits: 3.00
CS 6083 Principles of Database Systems, Credits: 3.00
CS 6373 Programming Languages, Credits: 3.00
CS 6413 Compiler Design and Construction, Credits: 3.00
CS 6533 Interactive Computer Graphics, Credits: 3.00
CS 6613 Artificial Intelligence I, Credits: 3.00

CS 9163 Application Security, Credits: 3.00

General Electives:
CS 6273 Performance Evaluation of Computer Systems, Credits: 3.00
CS 6643 Computer Vision and Scene Analysis, Credits: 3.00
CS 6673 Neural Network Computing, Credits: 3.00
CS 9013 UNIX and PERL, Credits: 3.00
CS 9053 Introduction to Java, Credits: 3.00
CS 9073 Human Computer Interaction, Credits: 3.00
CS 6093 Advanced Database Systems, Credits: 3.00
CS 9093 Biometrics, Credits: 3.00
CS 9093 Biometrics, Credits: 3.00
CS 9103 Object Oriented Design in Java, Credits: 3.00
CS 6923 Machine Learning, Credits: 3.00
CS 6913 Web Search Engines, Credits: 3.00
CS 9133 Emerging Technology for IP, Credits: 3.00
CS 9153 Game Programming, Credits: 3.00

Last edited by battle2010 : 07-03-2010 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:16 AM   #2
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If you want to be a programmer in the games industry then any Computer Science related education (preferably a 4yr degree; I assume you've got that since you're doing an MS) is going to be a plus. Although, you will need more than a degree to compete with everyone else applying for jobs.

The courses that you should select will depend on what you already know and what you enjoy. There may be no point repeating courses you've already covered in your undergraduate studies, although on the other hand you may wish to explore some courses you are really interested in with greater depth.

What area of programming are you interested in? Gameplay? AI? Graphics?
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:42 AM   #3
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Mostly I would like to work with graphics and gameplay. My undergrad course covered basic programming using C++, java, data structures, basic cg, IP. There were a lot more subjects but these are the ones relevant to what I wish to do. I had a software engineering course in my undergrad degree as well. But I dunno how much of a help will it be if I take up advanced software engineering in my MS. I'm thinking of taking up the programming languages course as it covers a variety of programming problems in several languages. I've been considering game designing as well and will be starting a similar thread in the designing forums. In short I wanna be a skilled programmer who can shape his own designs. Please advise.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:43 AM   #4
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Here are the classes you don't have bolded that look relevant to me:

Computer architecture I and II: For console-specific issues

Computer networking: For multiplayer games

Design and Analysis of Algorithms I and II: Sounds generally useful for all programmers

Software Engineering I and II: These should teach you how to work well in an actual software development setting, which is what game programmers do

Human Computer Interaction: You'll probably learn about usability and interface design, which are all very relevant


If you're interested in AI, you might want to consider Neural Network Computing or Machine Learning. These techniques aren't used very often in games, but they are used for other applications of AI, and are pretty interesting.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:00 AM   #5
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Hey Katherine and Adrir,

Thanks a lot for the advice. I've taken your suggestions into consideration and almost finalized my list of courses. This is a temporary list that I have compiled for myself as a guideline. I may or may not make changes to it once I meet with the counselors at NYU. But the advice given by both of you has helped me. Thanks again. Here's my list,

CS 6063 Software Engineering I, Credits: 3.00
CS 6073 Software Engineering II, Credits: 3.00
CS 6033 Design and Analysis of Algorithms I, Credits: 3.00
CS 6043 Design and Analysis of Algorithms II, Credits: 3.00
CS 6533 Interactive Computer Graphics, Credits: 3.00
CS 6613 Artificial Intelligence I, Credits: 3.00

CS 9153 Game Programming, Credits: 3.00
CS 9073 Human Computer Interaction, Credits: 3.00
CS 6923 Machine Learning, Credits: 3.00
CS 6673 Neural Network Computing, Credits: 3.00
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:06 PM   #6
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It looks like you have a good list there. One suggestion I would make is to try out SE1 before adding SE2 to your list. My SE course, thought it could have just been my professor, was basically extensive design documentation (which I haven't seen in practical use at any non-game company I've worked at to date) and learning the software development lifecycle (very useful but something you could learn about quickly online).

If possible, see if you can talk to instructors beforehand or view the syllabus online if you're not sure about a course. You may also want to supplement with some math courses like Linear Algebra and Discrete Math. I also find myself wishing I could take a refresher on Trigonometry.

Good luck!
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battle2010 View Post
CS 6703 Computational Geometry, Credits: 3.00
This course sounds like it could contain some very interesting and useful mathematics for someone with an interest in graphics. Especially if 3D shape representation is covered. Don't underestimate a good theory course. I'd definitely recommend looking into it in more detail.

Now...Just be sure to pick courses that you have an interest in and think you are likely to enjoy. Don't just take courses on a whim because you think it will look good.
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Last edited by Adrir : 07-05-2010 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:57 AM   #8
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What Adrir said. Make sure you're still taking the classes you want to take! You mentioned earlier that you were interested in the programming languages course, but it's not on your list now. Read up on the course descriptions. Don't take anything that sounds boring to you, and make sure you're taking anything that sounds really fun.

Also, agreed that computational geometry could be very useful depending on what's covered.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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Hey,

I am going over the course descriptions trying to list out possible changes i can make to the list. Sorry for being late in replying. Was out of town. I have decided to take programming languages. Also below is the description of the Computational Geometry course. I think it looks like something I want to learn and it looks useful for graphics design. But I would like a second opinion.

This course introduces data structures and algorithms for geometric data. Topics include intersection, polygon triangulation, linear programming, orthogonal range searching, point location, Voronoi diagrams, Delaunay triangulations, arrangements and duality, geometric data structures, convex hulls, binary space partitions, robot motion planning, quadtrees, visibility graphs, simplex range searching.

I am trying to contact the professors as suggested by jwalters. Also these are the minimum requirements for my MS. I can always take extra courses. But the only question how much is too much. I'm trying to scratch off anything that I can learn on my own in a short period of time. I shall have another revised course list prepared in a couple of days. And again, Thanks for your guidance.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:26 AM   #10
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Human Computer Interaction: You'll probably learn about levitra usability and interface design, which are all very relevant

Last edited by odry147 : 08-02-2011 at 05:49 AM.
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