Welcome: A Short Introduction and FAQ

Since this is the first post, I may as well start with the pleasantries:

Hi, I’m Zac. I’m a second year Computer Science and Maths Student (and one of very few to blog for the school). I have been an active member of the Computer Science Society (CSSoc) since the beginning of my first year, and have helped organize several events for students in the school.

Since this is the first of many posts, I will try to answer many of the initial questions people may have:

What on Earth possessed you to take Computer Science AND Maths?

I can’t quite remember, but I think it had something to do with me not being able to choose between the two subject so…

Why Not Both?
Why Not Both?

No, Seriously, WHY?!

I had been studying IT/CS for many a year prior to starting university, and I quickly realised that I wasn’t interested in the way that all the things at the back worked, I was more interested with the way we could make the computer work to our specifications. This meant that, at least during the first two years, half the courses in any of the other degree programs did not interest me

Aside from that, I have always been interested in Maths, and it would have been a right shame to give it up.

Are there any advantages to doing this Joint Honours Program?

Personally, I think that the main advantage is the versatility of the skills you learn. The programming skills are useful in some of the more practical Maths units (I have found this to be the case in Numerical Analysis (MATH20602)), while the maths knowledge, as well as the various other skills learnt, has come useful in some of the Computer Science units. The use of MATLAB in Maths has proved helpful, for me at least, in the Machine Learning (COMP24111) labs, while some of the mathematical theory is applicable in the Graphics (COMP27112) labs. It is worth noting that this degree has not been proven to be distinctly advantageous in any specific course unit.

Also, I would like to think my options are more open in the future. I feel that when I apply for graduate roles, I have a wider variety of fields to choose from. Teaching, Finance, Actuary, Software Development, IT Support, Banking, Research… the opportunities are endless.

That being said, are there any drawbacks?

It is difficult (not theoretically) but in every other way. I’d be lying if I said I was breezing through this degree. I takes a lot of time out of your week from the word “GO”, it takes nights, it takes weekends. It does take its toll.

Also, you end up running in between two completely different faculties, two tutors, two timetabling systems, two types of assessments, clashing submission dates… It is a real pain in the neck keeping yourself organized in this course.

That brings me to the end of the first entry into this blog. I think the next three or four will be recaps of my first three semesters, and then after that I’ll talk about anything that springs to mind