Masters in CS

A place to discuss the science of computers and programs, from algorithms to computability.

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Frh
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Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:22 am UTC

Masters in CS

Postby Frh » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:31 pm UTC

I've just graduated with a degree in physics, and have a masters program in CS lined up for next year. Firstly, I have been given a list of books from which I should read at least one prior to the start of the course.

David Harel, Computers Lts. – what they really can’t do, Oxford University Press, 2000
A. K. Dewdney, The (New) Turing Omnibus: 66 Excursions in Computer Science. W.H. Freeman and Company, revised edition, 1993
David Harel and Yishai Feldman, Algorithmics: the Spirit of Computing, 3rd edition, Addition Wesley, 2004
L. Golschalger and A. Lister, Computer Science: a modern introduction, Prentice Hall, 2nd edition, 1988
Richard Bird, Introduction to Functional Programming using Haskell, Prentice Hall International, 2nd edition 1998.

Has anyone got any opinions on which would be the best choice?

I am also wondering about module choices, as there are no compulsory options which must be taken next year. Looking through the courses, I find myself being drawn to the more theoretical options (Game Semantics, Quantum Computer Science, Lambda Calculus etc) - which are presumably less relevant in the "real world". I don't yet know if I want to pursue research or get a job along the lines of programming, and would hate to hamstring myself if I do decide to actually work. To that end, what sort of things should I make sure I take?

Cheers!

Frh

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fenrir_darkwolf
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Re: Masters in CS

Postby fenrir_darkwolf » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:35 am UTC

Well since you already have a degree in physics I am guessing that you already have a stronger interest towards the theoretical, and perhaps not a great connection with the "real" world (ironic that not many people there even know real analysis :P). I can't really say what you should go into, since I do not know what interests you the most, however as a physics major I can say that Quantum Computing sounds fun :D. If you're worried about a possible career you could always do something in algorithms. Both theoretical AND employable :D.
"You're gonna have to learn everything anyway, so which is first is not essential."
-Richard Feynman

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Penitent87
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Location: London

Re: Masters in CS

Postby Penitent87 » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:22 pm UTC

Of the two I've read, the second and third on that list, "Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing" is by far the more worthwhile read. The Turing Omnibus covers a wide range of topics, but the book is fragmented and fairly shallow.

But that is just my opinion.

baultista
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Masters in CS

Postby baultista » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:53 pm UTC

I didn't even know it was possible to do a Masters in CS without a Bachelor's degree in the same program.
Could God write a program so long that not even he himself would have the memory to compile it in a single pass? -- Hamish Campbell

skelterjohn
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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:17 am UTC

Re: Masters in CS

Postby skelterjohn » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:26 pm UTC

baultista wrote:I didn't even know it was possible to do a Masters in CS without a Bachelor's degree in the same program.


A number of PhD students in my CS PhD program have Bachelor's in math or economics.

baultista
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Masters in CS

Postby baultista » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:22 pm UTC

skelterjohn wrote:
baultista wrote:I didn't even know it was possible to do a Masters in CS without a Bachelor's degree in the same program.


A number of PhD students in my CS PhD program have Bachelor's in math or economics.

Then there's hope for me yet! You just made my day, sir!
Could God write a program so long that not even he himself would have the memory to compile it in a single pass? -- Hamish Campbell


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