Master's in Computational Sci?

For the discussion of math. Duh.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

Suffusion of Yellow
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby Suffusion of Yellow » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:38 pm UTC

So I'm graduating with a major in math in a month, and I got accepted into a master's program in computational science. I don't really know anything about computational science except what Wikipedia told me, soooo...is it good for employment? is it good for then getting a PhD? Etc

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby BlackSails » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:40 pm UTC

Why would you apply to a program that you dont even know if you want?

Suffusion of Yellow
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby Suffusion of Yellow » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:48 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Why would you apply to a program that you dont even know if you want?


Because the application was free and if I decide I don't want to go, then I don't have to go. The deadline was coming up and if I did decide it was something I wanted to do afterwards it would be to late.

User avatar
Dason
Posts: 1311
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:06 am UTC
Location: ~/

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby Dason » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:28 am UTC

So just so I have this straight... you haven't had any comp sci classes... ever?
double epsilon = -.0000001;

Suffusion of Yellow
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby Suffusion of Yellow » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:43 am UTC

Dason wrote:So just so I have this straight... you haven't had any comp sci classes... ever?


Nope

User avatar
Dason
Posts: 1311
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:06 am UTC
Location: ~/

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby Dason » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:11 pm UTC

Well what are the other options you have laid out?
double epsilon = -.0000001;

Suffusion of Yellow
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby Suffusion of Yellow » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:03 pm UTC

Dason wrote:Well what are the other options you have laid out?


Well I'm gonna apply to graduate school in just math, but I'd have to do that not next year but the year after, so I was thinking about doing Computational Sci in the year in between.

User avatar
jroelofs
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:26 pm UTC
Location: Nashua, NH
Contact:

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby jroelofs » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:15 am UTC

Have you had a numerical analysis class yet? How about a discrete math such as combinatorics? How good is your abstract algebra? Graph theory? All these things are relevant to my everyday life in Comp Sci. Proofs are pretty important, but not a direct way. If you can think well along the lines of a proof, this can translate well into showing a computer algorithmically what to do (but there is still a lot to learn once you have this part down).

Ended
Posts: 1459
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:27 pm UTC
Location: The Tower of Flints. (Also known as: England.)

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby Ended » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:32 am UTC

@OP: could you clarify whether you mean computational science or computer science? I'm going to assume the former whereas other posters seem to be assuming the latter.

I think it really depends on what you want to do for your PhD. If you are aiming towards pure maths, computational science would be an unconventional choice and might hinder your application. However there are certain areas of applied maths (I'm thinking of numerical analysis and applied PDEs but there might be others) for which it could be great preparation. I would ask the department what kind of things their graduates have gone on to do, and see if they match with what you're hoping to do.

As far as getting a job goes, computational science is the union of applied maths, science and computing, so good computational scientists will be in demand in any field which requires a strong background in those areas.
Generally I try to make myself do things I instinctively avoid, in case they are awesome.
-dubsola

tensor
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:01 am UTC

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby tensor » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:33 pm UTC

I had undergraduate degrees in Physics and Computer Science. I took graduate courses in each and found that graduate level computer science was not very challenging (a lot of extra work without learning a whole lot that was new) v.s. graduate level physics. This was a long time ago so things may have changed.

User avatar
qinwamascot
Posts: 688
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:50 am UTC
Location: Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby qinwamascot » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:42 am UTC

I'm assuming you mean computational science, which is quite different (but related to) computer science.

For computational science, you have enough background as a math major, assuming you remember PDEs, Statistics, and Linear Algebra well enough. What would definitely help is a class or two in numerical analysis, some in programming, and some in science (esp. Physics) or engineering. If you have all of these, consider yourself well-prepared for such a program. If you don't, your first year or so will be a lot of catching up. Going to such a program for only a year, you'd learn very little computational science, and much more of these areas, which really wouldn't be useful if you don't intend to stay in computational science for a while.

Is it good for employment?


There aren't many jobs traditionally in computational science, but there are a large variety you can apply for. Any engineering or applied math position is potentially open. However, you run into the problem of not exactly matching their expectations. If you have connections in places, you can easilly bypass this. If not, you may find yourself being evaluated by an HR department for a job in mechanical engineering, who have no idea what computational science is, against candidates with degrees in mechanical engineering. Overqualification here is actually a hinderance if anything.

If you want to go into computational science, there are some jobs. Most of them are university professorships in scientific computing or similar things. Math departments may hire you as an applied mathematician, but only if you do a postdoc in math and have strong recommendations (you'd also be expected to have at least knowledge of basic graduate level math). If you get lucky, similar positions might be available in physics, engineering, chemistry, etc. You have to be proactive in making sure potential employers know you and what you know, but there are a very large number of jobs available if you are willing to do so.

is it good for then getting a PhD?


If you want to go into applied math or computer science, it won't hurt you. If you want to go into pure math, it won't help you. It strongly depends on what you do there. If you're spending a year to study PDEs, Statistics, and engineering, only to go into foundations of mathematics and logic, you are wasting your time. If you want to get out of math and go into something like meteorology, a computational science degree is amazingly good qualification (arguably better than an actual meteorology degree).

My recommendation, as is the same for any graduate program, is this: Go to their website and look up the professors' research interests. Find those that you think sound interesting, and look at a few papers by each professor. You don't have to understand everything, but you should at least be able to discern and judge the flavor of the field, and what you will be doing. Also, be sure to look at everything they have on their website regarding their program, and contact the advisor if you need more information.
Quiznos>Subway

Suffusion of Yellow
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

Re: Master's in Computational Sci?

Postby Suffusion of Yellow » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:11 am UTC

Ended wrote:@OP: could you clarify whether you mean computational science or computer science?


Computational.


Thanks guy! :D


Return to “Mathematics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 11 guests