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This topic contains 26 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  philippe_j 12 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #4490

    peter_b
    Participant

    http://www.rte.ie/cao/cao

    i see the points are out and tralee and ul have decent points for the courses. Definately, gonna need those sort of points(if not higher) for a computers course. Pity some of the other cs degree around the country arent looking so hot.

  • #24058

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Of interest…

    Carlow – Computer Games Development 340
    UCC – Computer Science 300
    IT Tralee – Computing with Games Development 300
    Dundalk – Computing – Games Development 270
    UL – Multimedia & Computer Games Development 380
    TCD – Computer Science 365

  • #24059

    lk_
    Participant

    I really hope they have Kevin McDaid and Derek O’ Reilly lecturing in the Dundalk course as I dont know any other lecturers at Dundalk who would be as capable.

  • #24060

    peter_b
    Participant

    Of interest…

    Carlow – Computer Games Development 340
    UCC – Computer Science 300
    IT Tralee – Computing with Games Development 300
    Dundalk – Computing – Games Development 270
    UL – Multimedia & Computer Games Development 380
    TCD – Computer Science 365[/quote:e52a9c3c4a]

    yeah trinity and ucc really went down the toilet (ucc more so), think the old career guidance teachers need to get up off their arses and start pushing computers again. Coz i reckon microsoft\intel are really worried about the level of computer programmers\engineers in the future, if this trend continues. they really need to tell the students that computer jobs are really quite plentiful now (although still not as good as back in 1995\6\7).

  • #24061

    gizmo
    Participant

    Of interest…

    Carlow – Computer Games Development 340
    UCC – Computer Science 300
    IT Tralee – Computing with Games Development 300
    Dundalk – Computing – Games Development 270
    UL – Multimedia & Computer Games Development 380
    TCD – Computer Science 365[/quote:a3c67b1226]

    *AHEM*

    DCU – Computer Applications 300

    :D

    Points don’t reflect the difficulty of the course (any of them I’m sure) in the slightest however…

  • #24065

    peter_b
    Participant

    DCU – Computer Applications 300

    :D

    Points don’t reflect the difficulty of the course (any of them I’m sure) in the slightest however…[/quote:0b3ccd554e]

    Damn right. Points only reflect popularity. Anyone who gets 300 points will struggle in computer science\engineering. Cold hard truth but thats life.

    Also in relation to teaching game courses, i think if your going to run a games course you have to bring in 1 or 2 who have done it before otherwise it will be hard to get established. Theres a great article in develop magazine about this sort of thing.

  • #24068

    lk_
    Participant
  • #24069

    peter_b
    Participant
  • #24071

    lk_
    Participant
  • #24073

    Woody FX
    Participant

    Yes maths is very important.

    Though, I know some people who had strong leaving certs and went to college and flew through the course.4 years later they still cant/dont enjoy programming. Not meant to be sexist it was mainly girls who got the best marks and didnt enjoy the programming. Alot wanted to go in the direction of teaching and lecturing after their degree and did post grads in related subjects.

    On the other hand i loved programming, lived college to the max, scraped through my first 3 years and then got in to game programming and re-discovered the reasons i picked the BsC as my subject.

    I hated the marketing and OO all none direct code subjects. I loved maths and all related subjects. Hated Physic & Electronic systems.

    Oh the joys of college.

    Sorry off on a bit of a tangent. Yeah maths is important and i guess all the non-computer people who got steered in to Computer Science by their Career guidance teacher are no longer pciking computers anymore and only the people who are into them.

    I wonder how the couses fair now against the students in the hayday of CS. Over half my starting class never finished the course and the points were higher then to get in to these courses.

    Anyhow back to writing code ;p (its better than my english)

  • #24074

    Skyclad
    Participant

    I agree with you but thats providing those 300pts were got in physics\maths\applied math. Or science related subjects. not latin, french and irish :)[/quote:c6cf309529]
    OI! Nothing wrong with Irish and French – they got me 180 points they did :)

  • #24076

    peter_b
    Participant

    I agree with you but thats providing those 300pts were got in physics\maths\applied math. Or science related subjects. not latin, french and irish :)[/quote:4417b79d35]
    OI! Nothing wrong with Irish and French – they got me 180 points they did :)[/quote:4417b79d35]

    you did computers and linguistics though right? :)

    Languages were very handy to you there right, seeing as a good chunk of the course was languages? French is of little use if your doing pure computer science or engineering and its not a subject you can take.

  • #24078

    gizmo
    Participant

    Well from what I’ve seen so far Maths is the major stumbling block for ALOT of people in these courses. While a C3 in Ordinary Level Maths is the minimum requirement in most of the courses, we went into first year and had Maths as a year long module which was basically the Honours Maths course with a few bells and whistles in the form of some “simple” Applied Maths. Not something someone coming from the Ord. level wants to see, especially on top of all the other course work.

    And I’d agree with the comment that the LC isnt a good indication of ones intelligence. To me its more an exercise in memory, however when something unexpected comes up its always good to be able to fallback on your actual understanding of the subject.

  • #24093

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Languages were very handy to you there right, seeing as a good chunk of the course was languages?[/quote:c506dbf86e]

    Studying a language and studying linguistics are 2 very different things. Linguistics is very much about word structure, meaning etc, and while often studied within the scope of a particular language, there are many areas of itnerest that are completely language independent. Computational linguistics deals with such fun things as language patterns and pattern reproduction, a large part of which falls under the same domain as AI. The CL side of things would definately be more on the programming/technical side of things than the learning a second, third or fourth language for example.

    Not that an of the above is particularly relevant, I was the oddball who did graphics rather than advanced CL in final year :)

    Dave

  • #24095

    peter_b
    Participant

    ya a buddy of mine did that course too. I didnt realise it focused on language structure\patterns, thats very useful stuff for compiler etc.. So no doubt ye do a NLP for ai then.

  • #24101

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Aye. Some day us computational linguist type folks will make computers understand all human language. We’ll probably have to hire in the sexy star trek voice dubbing though.

    Dave

  • #24222

    philippe_j
    Participant

    LOL, it’s not having Maths that’s important, it’s having an analytical method. Because that’s what a programmer does: he analyzes.

    Your Leaving Cert. points, well, I guess it’s as irrelevant as my Baccalaureat, the difference being that in France we have “flavours” of Bac. In my case I did a Science with Phys/Chem option.
    Yet I ended up in Network and Telecoms…
    I doubt I could have followed anything if I had done a Literary or a Business Bac. though. I was lost enough as it was!
    I had 30% average in Maths during my post Bac. studies, 15% average in Electronics, whereas I had 90% average in Programming and 85% avg. in Digital Electronics. Go figure :P

    on a side note, I think language skills are much more important than one would appreciate at first sight: yes, all the Internet speaks English, and you don’t _need_ other languages to learn programming, but I feel that I have much more ease at understanding new prog languages than your average programmer. Also when you have done something like German or Latin (which I both did), you get to be much more careful about syntax, grammar and all those little things.
    Oh, I also did Fine Arts on the side (passed the exam and all), but I don’t really think _that_ helped my programming. Or maybe it did, I dunno :roll:

    Anyway, I still think not knowing Pythagoras in fourth year is unacceptable… (true story!)

    out of curiosity, what is the maximum number of points? (as in, 300 out of how much?)

    Philippe

  • #24223

    peter_b
    Participant

    out of curiosity, what is the maximum number of points? (as in, 300 out of how much?)

    Philippe[/quote:0dda9abf71]

    300 out of a maximum of 600.

    Then for each subject you get between about 5 points(d3 on ordinary level) to 100 points(higher level a1) depending on the grade you get in the subject and the level you did it at.

    Example:

    a1 in Higher Level maths = 100pts
    d3 in Higher level maths = 45
    a1 in Ordinary Level maths = 60pts.
    d3 in Ordinary level maths = 5

    Also some colleges and courses offer bonus points for maths. most notably ul will give you 40 points on top of your 100 if you get an a1 in higher level maths. Also some engineering courses in DIT i think offer similar bonus points.

    As for languages helping you with programming i dont see how it would be much of an advantage unless the comments are foreign. :) Im rubbish at irish and french but my programming is grand. Programming is mathematical.

  • #24224

    gizmo
    Participant

    Well having maths is important for a few reasons…

    Firstly there is a minimum requirement, grades wise, that you have to meet to get into some courses.

    Secondly, having a firm knowledge of the subject really stands to you when you get into the course. I flew through Maths in first year on the basis that it was only the LC Honours course with a few bits of Applied Maths thrown in, another subject I had done for the LC. And for that reason I’m really glad I worked hard at those two subjects, it made picking up the other subjects in first year in college easier as I had more time to spend on them.

    I will agree with you that some courses in no way benefit your course. For instance for my optional LC subjects I did Economics and History on top of Phyics, French and Applied Maths.
    Physics and AP were taken on the basis of doing computers while the first were two were taken on the basis of my love of the subjects but also on the off chance I changed my mind in 5th / 6th year regarding my course choice…it was never really gona happen but its always good to be sure. History did help me develop my writing speed though, 25+ foolscap pages in 3hrs 20mins…BOO YA! :D

  • #24225

    philippe_j
    Participant

    I don’t think knowing languages makes me a better programmer, but I feel that I have an added edge, compared to other programmers, in that I have no problem switching between various programming languages, and more important, learning new ones pretty quickly.
    Like I said, maybe it’s just the way I was trained (we were doing _everything_ in pseudo code before even turning on a computer) and it has nothing to do with my mad language skillz :lol:
    Still, the number of times I had to check one of my students’ code and the mistake came from a badly spelled word (and I am not counting the awful spelling mistakes that didn’t influence code) :shock:

    Also one thing I am also amazed at here is the complete lack of Communication skills. I mean, how hard can it be to make a proper Powerpoint presentation…
    You’d think fourth year students would be used to making presentations in front of the class, but no, it was like watching little kids, hiding behind each other in case somebody ask them a question.
    Do you guys never get called to the board to, I dunno, write your solution to an exercise, or is it just here (cos I have been here 7 years, and I have consistently seen this kind of awful presentations)
    Communication skills are useful! If only to get a job!

  • #24229

    Skyclad
    Participant

    As for languages helping you with programming i dont see how it would be much of an advantage unless the comments are foreign. :) Im rubbish at irish and french but my programming is grand. Programming is mathematical.[/quote:e2d8f7797f]
    All languages have a similar set of attributes, and the more you know, the better you will be at all of them. While people might not associate natural language with programming languages, both are effectively the same thing – they contain a set of allowable words with rules on how they interact (a syntax). Both also have the same goal in transferring information to a third party which interprets your use of the language and produces the correct response.

    Like anything in life, the greater the number of alternative approaches you have studied and can use to tackle a problem, the more likely you will be to find an elegant solution.

    So while there might be no directly visible corollation between programming and natural language, a broadened scope in terms of how one uses either is most likely to benefit both.

    Dave

  • #24230

    philippe_j
    Participant

    Skyclad,
    the way I see it, Mathematics is just another language, one that is very specific to a particular subset of subjects (i.e. science and other maths subjects) and therefore very useful for explaining and sharing ideas about those subjects.

    Languages like German (and Latin to an even greater extent) are _very_ demanding grammar wise and a simple letter at the end of a word can change the meaning of a whole sentence.
    Just like in Maths where 2 * 3 – 2 * 3 is not the same as 2 * (3 – 2) * 3.

    English, in comparison, is what I would call robust (to be polite). It doesn’t matter that you don’t understand it very well, nor that the person you are reading cannot spell nor use proper syntax… you can still understand it!
    Conversely, because it’s so robust, it doesn’t put as much pressure on you to be good at it, to be careful of how you write things and how you spell, and so on and so forth.
    Which I feel is a great loss for the future programmer.

    Anyway, I know I have a slightly unique view of things… :roll:

  • #24232

    lk_
    Participant

    Skyclad,
    the way I see it, Mathematics is just another language, one that is very specific to a particular subset of subjects (i.e. science and other maths subjects) and therefore very useful for explaining and sharing ideas about those subjects.

    Languages like German (and Latin to an even greater extent) are _very_ demanding grammar wise and a simple letter at the end of a word can change the meaning of a whole sentence.
    Just like in Maths where 2 * 3 – 2 * 3 is not the same as 2 * (3 – 2) * 3.

    English, in comparison, is what I would call robust (to be polite). It doesn’t matter that you don’t understand it very well, nor that the person you are reading cannot spell nor use proper syntax… you can still understand it!
    Conversely, because it’s so robust, it doesn’t put as much pressure on you to be good at it, to be careful of how you write things and how you spell, and so on and so forth.
    Which I feel is a great loss for the future programmer.

    Anyway, I know I have a slightly unique view of things… :roll:[/quote:a542e2ff36]

    I actually quite like how he puts that….makes a lot of sense…. to me at least. By the way who is Isidore… :oops:

  • #24233

    philippe_j
    Participant

    well, thanks :oops:

    “Sancte Isidore Ora Pro Nobis”
    that means “Saint Isidore, Pray For Us”.
    It’s the _proposed_ saint patron of the Internet. Isidore of Sevilla (IIRC) wrote what is considered the first ever Encyclopedia. It’s all very nicely explained somewhere on the Net. With a nice picture and all.
    There is also some sort of prayer for a safe browsing that I found quite hilarious (still dunno if it was a joke or not) but that would be just too big…

    actually, there it is : http://www.latin.fsbusiness.co.uk/page3.htm

    it’s even more amusing when you know that the worship of the saint patrons is uh, shall I say deprecated?, since Vatican 2.0 (and I am not even joking, here)

  • #24243

    Skyclad
    Participant

    English, in comparison, is what I would call robust (to be polite). It doesn’t matter that you don’t understand it very well, nor that the person you are reading cannot spell nor use proper syntax… you can still understand it!
    Conversely, because it’s so robust, it doesn’t put as much pressure on you to be good at it, to be careful of how you write things and how you spell, and so on and so forth.
    Which I feel is a great loss for the future programmer.[/quote:2a9f22aea7]

    Are you suggesting that because a natural language has a lexicon and syntax which is far broader than a standard computer language, that it is a negative for the future programmer? Or that a programmer who doesnt put a degree of effort into their first language wont end up being a good programmer?

    While it is possible to communicate poorly and still get your intent across, it is also possible to have a working executable which is badly coded (a few mememory leaks never hurt anyone…).

    There is no doubt that one of the end goals of programming (at least at a parser level) would be to create an environment where we could simply type (or talk…) our intentions and have a computer execute them, with the correct interpretation applied regardless of syntactic or spelling error.

    The broad range of CSGs (constraint based grammars), as well as the evolution from C to C++ are 2 examples of developments made as a result of a greater understanding of how we express ourselves. Future developments of this nature will lead further down the road of the above stated goal.

    Dave
    ps I would disagree that programming is primarily about maths – it is for the most part about creating and manipulating data in accordance with a set of rules. Which is why they have languages.

  • #24247

    feral
    Participant

    Still, the number of times I had to check one of my students’ code and the mistake came from a badly spelled word (and I am not counting the awful spelling mistakes that didn’t influence code) [/quote:9c6dc9e9db]

    Conversely, because it’s so robust, it doesn’t put as much pressure on you to be good at it, to be careful of how you write things and how you spell, and so on and so forth.
    Which I feel is a great loss for the future programmer. [/quote:9c6dc9e9db]

    You seem to be saying that clerical skills are a primary attribute of a programmer. While they are certainly useful, I disagree strongly with this assertion.

    Here is but one of many counter-examples:
    Many people who are dyslexic make excellent programmers, including some programmers I know.
    Yet they both write and spell particularly poorly.

    Speaking generally, I have heard dyslexic people frequently have aptitudes for disciplines such as programming. I dont really understand how being able to write and spell correctly then so important?

    Many programmers now use compilers, and IDEs which are exceptionally useful at catching clerical errors.
    These make clerical skills even less essential to the everyday job of a programmer, and leaving them free to concentrate on what I would consider the really important tasks of programming.

  • #24474

    philippe_j
    Participant

    I am sorry if this all sound so tight arsed, because really I am rather the opposite. In fact I am more or less preaching here almost the opposite of the way I am, really. But I this is because of the way I was taught, which was to say the least rigorous (and very very French).
    To sum it up simply I must quote my Maths teacher, who herself was quoting Boileau :
    “Ce qui se concoit bien, s’enonce clairement,
    et les mots pour le dire, viennent aisement”.
    In English : “What’s well conceived, is enounced clearly,
    and the words to say it, come easily”.

    What it means, and the reason my Maths lecturer so aptly quoted it for, is that if you don’t really know what you are trying to say, usually you’ll get it wrong, or it’ll be harder to say it, you’ll run around in circles trying to get it just right, etc.
    Why does that relate to maths, or programming ?
    Cos programming isn’t, indeed, about Maths, it’s about (IMHO) saying exactly what it is, that you want (what you really really want, I wanna, I wanna…)

    Does that sound like a zen koan? Or bullshit? Well, I still think it’s what it’s all about.
    Now that does that relate to my previous points about languages in general? Well, just you try and go explain yourself in a foreign language, in a correct grammar but using the wrong words, making a complete fool of yourself in the process and I think you’ll know what I mean.

    What I am suggesting, Skyclad, is that because one has never had to step back and realise what is their language, and how it works, and how is should properly be used, one misses on an invaluable aspect of using languages in general.
    It’s not so much that you would learn something that could be useful for programming per se, it’s more that you would learn something about learning programming. If that make sense :oops:
    And yes, I know you learn grammar and spelling early on, but really, do you remember all that stuff in any significant amount? I can tell you every time I have to help out my little sister who has to learn all this right now, I realise just how
    not obvious all this is, and how much I have come to consider “well duh, it’s like that cos it’s obvious, ain’t it?”.

    I think really if you want to understand where I am coming from, you have to see that I have always been helping people around me understand programming (or any other subject where I was good at, for that matter, I am equally happy to help about Art), which means that I have a special consideration for the pedagogic aspects of a given subject.

    In effect, you can be an excellent programmer and spend your life making killing apps. But I think if you want to be more of a teacher/master sort of guy (as I am trying to be), all this stuff I am on about helps along that way.

    Call me pretentious (it’s OK, I am French), but my goal in life is to be like a zen master of programming, so that one day I can have a line in the Zen AI koans :wink:

    feral :

    You seem to be saying that clerical skills are a primary attribute of a programmer. While they are certainly useful, I disagree strongly with this assertion. [/quote:98b6c76f6b]
    And you’d be right to disagree.
    As I said above, I think what it comes down to isn’t clerical skills per se, but rather the need for being clear, precise, to an almost anal level. Qualities which are very much a foundation of good clerical skills.
    On the subject of dyslexia, I have a particular insight in that as my little sister has it (as if it was some sort of desease, lol) and I have had the pleasure to see her make an almost complete 180 on it in the last year (through intense therapy adressing the real reasons behind the dyslexia).
    I’d be delighted to bore you to death on the specifics and rant against the teaching system that created the problem in the first place; because believe me, it’s nothing to do with the person, and a lot to do with the way reading is being taught to kids… but I’d be afraid to be way too much off topic there :oops:

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