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Choosing Majors. Computer Science vs. Info Tech vs. Data Science

Goony1Goony1 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
I would really like to go to school on the east or west coast but know they are tremendously expensive. I'm a junior at a college prep school. 27 on ACT plan to take again, 3.5gpa involved in drug free club, speech, all conference wrestling, captain of ultimate Frisbee team,volunteering at computer store. My difficulty right now is AB Calc I have a C- in it, I think this is going to be a bit more of a struggle for me at the math concept of my major. Any type of advice is helpful. Thank You.

Replies to: Choosing Majors. Computer Science vs. Info Tech vs. Data Science

  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 21,907 Forum Champion
    So what kind of helpful advice to you want? Help with AB Calc? Help with determining which schools you should consider? Help with deciding on a major?
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,995 Senior Member
    Maybe they're trying to ask which major is less math-intensive? Since they're not naturally inclined towards it.
  • Goony1Goony1 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Sorry for the late response! Yes I'm trying to ask what is less math intensive but maybe also help with AB calc I do think I can do well in the class just not this semester because of how bad I did in the beginning.
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,995 Senior Member
    One other question: When you say Info tech you mean CIS? The major that's generally under the business admin umbrella and called something like "information systems"?

    And for Data science do you mean some kind of statistical analysis major?
  • Goony1Goony1 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    For info tech its more of a job really than a major and no to the business part, Data science major part yes.
  • NCalRentNCalRent Registered User Posts: 5,466 Senior Member
    CIS is going to be a LOT less math.

    Go in undeclared, take a couple of classes and see how you do...

    With a 3.5/27 take a look at CSULB, CPP, Fullerton, Northridge and Chico - maybe UCR or UCM depending on your other qualifications.

    Good luck.
  • PhantomVirgoPhantomVirgo Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    Some general math-related advice from a recent CS grad, who always hated excessive number crunching but liked the mathematical thought process:

    My response with regards to CS specifically will depend on this question: What exactly is difficult about AP Calc? Generalizing more, what part of math is difficult for you?

    CS tends to require a good amount of math, but once you're past the required lower-level classes, the math as most people think of it is slim to none. When I say "math as most people think of it", I mean computational questions: Arithmetic, word problems, plug some numbers into the formula and tell me what the result is...those kinds of problems. That's not the kind of math used in CS, at least not beyond telling a computer what to do so it can do those kinds of computations for you. Sure, you'll have the occasional plug-and-chug or fundamentally arithmetic-based question in some classes. But it's nothing like, say, your average calculus class.

    More importantly, CS requires mathematical thinking. It requires the ability to take what you currently know and figure out how to work with it to get to whatever goal you may have. It requires being able to think incrementally about making it to that goal, and being able to identify which techniques to use to get closer to the end point. It requires being able to see sometimes-unclear conceptual connections to identify those techniques. And possibly most importantly, it requires the patience to handle hitting a brick wall and trying to figure out what to do to get around/over that wall.

    So essentially, if you're good at the mathematical thought process but not in the number crunching aspect of lower level math, I wouldn't necessarily recommend against CS. You can just get through those number crunching classes and get on to the good stuff in that case if you really want to do it (and you will, if that's truly the case). But if the mathematical thought process is the problem, I strongly recommend against CS. I'd also recommend against it if you dislike math enough to not want to do any more math classes than necessary to get some computer-related degree.
  • Goony1Goony1 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Wow I didn't even think of going in undeclared because my parents are pressuring me to choose one major and stik with it, especially engineering..
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 68,153 Senior Member
    However, at some campuses, some majors may be hard to get into later if you go in undeclared or in a different major. CS is often such a major.
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