Double Majoring at Pomona

<p>I am an ED2 applicant (2 weeks left!) and I had a few questions regarding double majoring at Pomona.</p>

<p>I'm interested in going into the field of AI research (I plan to go to grad school), and I was wondering what educational path at Pomona would best suit me for doing so. I've currently planned on double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics (or if I go to Mudd, where I've also applied, doing their joint CS/Math major), but I was wondering if this would be too general of an education for AI. Would I be better served doing a single major with more of a focus on cognitive science/linguistics and AI-related courses or double majoring with CS/CogSci instead of math? I'd also like to try to minor in Economics, but I think that might be an attempt to do too much.</p>

<p>Thoughts? Obviously this is something I would discuss with my advisor, provided I am accepted and matriculate, but this applies to other schools as well.</p>

<p>If you plan carefully, it's absolutely possible to double major and math and CS and take a good number of CogSci courses. This will be easier if you can skip intro CS and took calc BC. But I think your dilemma comes down to the fact that you want to study three different (but related) subjects and it would be very rough to try to get major-level knowledge in all three. Math and CS or CS and cogsci are both reasonable double majors, with overlapping requirements. I haven't taken cogsci courses myself, but I get the impression that AI is roughly the intersection of CS and cogsci. So perhaps it makes more sense to go down the CS/cogsci route if you are intent on double-majoring and AI.</p>

<p>Keep in mind that declared majors mean virtually nothing at Pomona until you're a senior, so it's not exactly a pressing issue at this point. All you need to do is take enough courses now such that you will be able to make the decision later.</p>

<p>Thanks for the reply. In terms of double majoring - how much more work is it? Not that i want to shirk coursework or get away with the easiest load, but I'm wondering if it's possible deeply pursue various intellectual interests while also maintaining a healthy balance of social and extracurricular activities.</p>

<p>Double majoring involves a significant increase in the number of requirements. However, if you plan it carefully from your freshman year, it's likely that you'll never need to take more than four courses in a semester (standard load). In other words, you will be able to get a double major without reaching the total number of courses required to graduate (32 or as low as 30 with AP credit). You might have slightly less free time than the average Pomona student, but only because a lot of Pomona students are taking easier courses.</p>

<p>If you then go and get a minor in an additional subject, start over with the language requirement, take some other random courses, study abroad, or some combination of those, the 4/semester limit may be impossible to maintain. At this point, your free time will become limited by your ability to work quickly. I know someone who partied more than twice a week with six courses, but I'd have trouble getting the day's work done in 24 hours.</p>

<p>I wasn't planning on one of my majors when I came to Pomona, and as a result have needed to catch up a bit, but all this required was taking five serious courses in one semester. </p>

<p>Here are the major requirement pages for the three subjects. Don't assume that all the classes you need will be offered every semester, but you will have some flexibility in what order you take them in. General math is easiest for someone who is double-majoring (with Applied coming in a close second).
Pomona</a> College - Computer Science
<a href="http://www.math.pomona.edu/majorinfo.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.math.pomona.edu/majorinfo.html&lt;/a>
Linguistics</a> & Cognitive Science Home Page</p>

<p>You can make a 8x4 grid and figure out what will fit in it, keeping prerequisites in mind. Leave room for three breadth of study courses, zero to three language courses as appropriate, and a freshman writing course.</p>

<p>Thanks, I'll definitely check it out. I was looking at the math department website earlier and think I will go for either the Applied or General major.</p>

<p>Just a couple more questions on skipping courses. I have a 4 on Calc BC from my sophomore year (4 on AB from my freshman) and 5 on Computer Science from last year. Are these enough to skip Calc 2 and/or Intro to CS, or would I have to test out of them? I sat in on the Intro CS class while visiting last semester, and it seemed to cover pretty much the same materials as the AP CompSci test (though I never took the AP class, I self-studied).</p>

<p>I also took Calc 3 and Differential Equations at a nearby community college and am taking Linear Algebra through Stanford EPGY. Would I be able to skip out of these courses, or have to test out of them (if I can)? Though I'd like to take them all again (especially Linear Algebra, this online course isn't doing it for me), I'd just like to know if there was flexibility with it so I could explore some other course options.</p>

<p>You're actually allowed to enroll in virtually any math course. The placement test is "advisory", so you can actually enroll in pretty much whatever you want at this point. You could take Linear then Vector if you really want to retake both of those courses. Vector usually comes after Linear, so starting with Vector would also be reasonable. But most people don't like Vector very much. I would personally recommend forgetting those courses you've already taken and going for Combinatorics with Shahriar, if you think you're up to it. I know a freshman who did that last semester with a similar background and it went well.</p>

<p>As for CS, you'd have to ask a professor first, but you will be allowed to skip 51 and choose between taking 52 and 62 next. 62 then 52 is probably the best idea.</p>

<p>I actually had the opportunity to sit in on my friend's Combinatorics class with Shahriar last semester. I couldn't stay for very long, as I had an interview at Mudd about 20 minutes in. I didn't get all of it, but it seemed very interesting.</p>