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Computer Science and what natural science?

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justinwarner
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Hey,

I'm in college, and I'm required to take a natural science.

This includes:

  1. Chemistry
  2. Physics
  3. Biology
  4. Environmental

Of these, I want to take environmental the most, but I'm wondering, which would be the smartest/most useful for my future...

Yes, I understand that it depends on what kind of CS I want to do in the future, but I don't know, and don't really care...

I wont take chemistry (Don't know anything about it, and never took it in high school), I enjoyed all the other three, and have the most experience in environmental, because I've always found it interesting...

But if anyone can say something that'd be useful, please do so.

Thanks!
Justin W.

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Narue
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I'd take physics, but you're not me. Just pick the one you're most interested in.

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eskimo456
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It depends what you want to do really. I found physics useful for graphics applications, allowing for character responses etc. I noticed you haven't included math? Is that compulsory or not? Pick the one you feel most comfortable with.

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lillygil
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its up to you that what you want to be or what you are really good in.

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jonsca
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I'm going to be the dissenter and say take biology. While bioinformatics isn't at the same level of popularity that it once was during the big push of the human genome project, there's still a lot of work to be done there.

Of course, if you know you have no interest in the field, then take whichever one you like the best and doesn't load you down so you can spend more time on your concentration. I've never interviewed anyone for a position, but I'd wager that which science course you took for a requirement won't even enter into the equation. Just make sure you pass! :)

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griswolf
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Another way to look at it: Take coursework that will encourage you to think about things from a different viewpoint than you get from computer science. I have been well served by classes I took in accounting, English (very helpful), statistics, management. I also took great pleasure, but not much 'work value' from music and dance. Physics has been so much a part of my built-in thinking that I doubt it counts for me. Math was my first love, but I have to admit that aside from the logic aspects, I've had not much use from it. My suggestions aren't so much about a second major as about being sure you take a variety of coursework.

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Rashakil Fol
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Environmental science is stupid.

Biology has the potential to be nothing but a souped up high school bio course, so you shouldn't take that.

Your reasons for not wanting to take chemistry are illogical, you don't need to know anything about chemistry to take a course in it. That's why they have titles like "Intro to Chemistry" or "Chemistry I".

Then there's physics, but you don't want to take that because it's probably too hard for you.

There, now I've found a way to be mindlessly insulting around every option. Now let's see what you should take.

You don't want to take environmental science. Seriously, who takes that? Wannabe-earth-liberators? It's like, "Oooh let's take science of the environment!" Wait no that .. ugh. It's just not hardcore enough. On the other hand, people will be like, "Oh, you took environmental science," and they won't think you're very smart, so they'll be comfortable talking to you like a normal person. It probably has a good gender ratio.

So then there's biology. Well I'm afraid biology is just a bunch of memorization. It doesn't really get fun until you watch the biology majors suffering through organic chemistry. I was forced to take biology in college and it ended up being a bunch of indoctrination about the theory of evolution. Which was very boring. However, biology has a better gender ratio than chemistry or physics, so there's that. But it's full of bitchy pre-meds, so if you're going to take bio, you might as well just take environmental science.

So then there's chemistry. Wait, why wouldn't you want to take chemistry? It was the most interesting course I took in my freshman year. It was more advanced than my high school chemistry course, and we did cool lab experiments, and it was perfectly approachable. Considering you know nothing about it, you should take it. Why wouldn't you take it, when you know nothing about it? That makes no sense. Chemistry is awesome and getting some lab experience will be helpful when you get fired from your job and the only way to live is to make meth. Chemistry is a hardcore subject and you should be proud to take it (unless those lame subjects like biology and environmental science and... I don't know, botany?). Also, people could mistake you for a normal person, like a pre-med student or something, if you take chemistry. You really know nothing about how the world works if you don't know chemistry.

So then there's physics. If you already had a girlfriend, and if you already knew a lot about chemistry, I'd recommend that you take physics. Honestly, it's a disgrace that physics isn't a required course for everybody in college. But hey, they're in the business of making money, not giving people an education about the world around them. That would be too hard so let's just take Saving Teh Environment 101 mmmkay? Honestly physics is extremely easy. There is basically no memorization (well there's F = m*a and you can't push on a rope) and you'll learn a bunch of stuff about Newtonian mechanics and electricity and magnetism that you would end up... having a large probability of learning anyway. I mean, electricity & magnetism, if you even get to that in one semester, is going to have new information, but you'd be better off taking an analog electronics course, because that's a lot more fun. And you'll get the important stuff (unless calculating the voltage as a function of radius of curvature is important to you).

By the way, we now know that Narue is secretly a man because she would take physics.

> Yes, I understand that it depends on what kind of CS I want to do in the future,

No, it doesn't. This has no impact on your future. Basically none of the courses you take have any impact on the CS you want to do in the future. Virtually all of your actual software engineering education is outside of the classroom and outside of the homework you do, right? Right? That had better be the case. If it's not, you don't have much of a future.

Anyway, you should just take chemistry.


Note that my advice is generally aimed with the presumption that you're a supergenius.

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griswolf
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<sarcasm>Avoid chemistry or biology as you would avoid any other difficult and smelly situation. Math is clean, elegant, indoors and did I mention clean? </sarcasm>
Seriously, math and physics are a little too much like programming to be of great value... unless you aren't a good programmer yet, in which case I like the math (or philosophy) course in symbolic logic: Very enlightening. Biology and Chemistry have difficult lab work. CS has enough difficult lab work for a lifetime. Geology gets you outside, with interesting people looking at interesting things; it teaches you to look at the basis for things, and its, well, fun!. Take geology.

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Stefano Mtangoo
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I would vote for Chemistry, because I just love it, even though it is almost 8 yrs since my last bite ;)
As Narue said, choose one that clicks with your desire!

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