Javaman, Undergraduate

Math major, can you dig it. Well, that’s what I put down when the CC asked what my major was going to be.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably read the various other threads over the years, in which I’ve mentioned that I work as a programmer analyst, but have made my way into the field through the side door so to speak, not having a computer science degree. I think I also mentioned how I always regretted that road not taken. And as a result I’ve decided to go for a BSCS.

So I’ve finally taken the first step. My formal math preparation is so lacking that I have to really start at the beginning, with a rigorous lower division calculus class. I had calculus in college, but it wasn’t rigorous, being intended for liberal arts majors. So last night I took my math placement exam at my local CC (Santa Monica College, for you Angeleno Dopers)–and I passed! I qualified for the calculus course. I consider that an excellent omen.

The CS course I plan to enter also requires physics, so I’ll probably be taking three or four additional classes before transfering to Cal State.


Cool beans. I just got out of school with a degree in math, so I know the path you’re about to go down. If you’re genuinely interested, it won’t be too hard, but best of luck anyway. Feel free to e-mail or IM me if you need help–I need to keep in practice so I won’t be rusty when I go back to school.

Thanks, Ultra, for the offer. I’ll keep it in mind.

My weak spot is trig; I did pretty badly on that part of the test, but pretty much aced the rest. So at least I verified to myself that I really have learned a lot, all on my own. I never made it to trig or even second-year algebra in high school.

I gather from your remarks that you want to go to grad school. What area of math did you specialize in as an undergraduate?

I didn’t really specialize, per se. Although I originally intended to concentrate in probability/statistics, I discovered halfway through my second statistics class that I didn’t really like it. I’ll probably go back to that someday, but at school I just took the general grad school preparation classes (a year’s worth of real analysis and basic abstract algebra). I also took a few classes in logic and theoretical computer science, and I think that’s what I’m most interested in. Time will tell, I suppose.