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What is the best thing to do to prepare before pursuing a comp sci and mathematics double major?

Grade 12, senior

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Joseph’s Answer

Comp Sci and Math, WOW. Prepare for a career in the Space field. Elon Musk would love to hire you after you graduate. These are top notch majors. If you're planning for this than I have to assume you've already prepared yourself during the high school years. College will have you taking many courses related programming languages, math courses, BUT i am going to suggest AI and Data Analytics. Also, if they offer quantum theories. This will really prepare you for everything as it is today.
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Sym
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Andrew’s Answer

The best way to prepare for a double major in mathematics and computer science is to take as many math courses as possible in high school. It would be great if you could complete AP Statistics and AP Calculus BC before graduation.

Mathematics is the language of science and technology. Hence, knowledge in mathematics is instrumental in your success in the pursuit of a degree in computer science.

For the past few years, most of my students in my Calculus I and Calculus II classes are in computer science.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for providing me with this advice! Sym
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Rafael’s Answer

To prepare for a computer science and mathematics double major, here are some steps you can take. First, brush up on your math skills by reviewing algebra, calculus, and discrete mathematics. Next, dive into programming basics using languages like Python or JavaScript and work on small coding projects. Take advantage of advanced math and science courses offered in high school, and explore online resources like Khan Academy and Codecademy for extra learning. Get involved in coding competitions or math clubs to sharpen your skills and meet others with similar interests. Lastly, don't hesitate to seek guidance from professionals in the field for advice and mentorship. Remember to have fun and develop your problem-solving abilities along the way!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for spending time to answer my question and give me advice! Sym
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Sharon’s Answer

Hi Sym! Everyone else gave really great advice about how to prepare for the material that you'll be learning. But another aspect to consider is how to effectively manage your time while double majoring and how to manage your stress. Before starting college, I'd think about what techniques you can use to study effectively (i.e., Pomodoro technique, office hours, or peer studying). While I'm sure you've already prepared throughout high school, college can be more challenging and sometimes the transition can be hard to get used to. In addition to your two majors, I'm sure you're planning on participating in other activities whether it's sports or clubs. So learning how to effectively manage your time is another great skills to have! I'd recommend using Google Calendar to plan out your class/discussion times, focus hours, etc. and to list out your assignment due dates to keep track of everything you have on your plate. Lastly, double majoring is no easy task and often many students are overwhelmed by their course load and the level of rigor. So make sure that you take time for yourself, practice self-care, and put your mental well-being first. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Sharon! This is advice that I think will help me thrive in college! Sym
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Sym,

Essential Steps to Prepare for a Double Major in Computer Science and Mathematics

Embarking on a double major in computer science and mathematics is a demanding yet rewarding academic journey. It requires commitment, diligence, and strategic preparation. Here are some crucial steps to undertake before diving into this dual-discipline pursuit:

Step 1: Solidify Your Basic Skills

To thrive in computer science and mathematics, you need a robust foundation in both disciplines. Begin by enrolling in advanced high school courses like calculus, computer programming, and discrete mathematics. Regularly exercise your problem-solving skills and use additional resources such as online tutorials, textbooks, and practice problems to enhance your comprehension.

Step 2: Cultivate Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Abilities

These two disciplines demand a high level of critical thinking and problem-solving prowess. Nurture these skills by joining extracurricular activities such as math clubs, programming contests, or robotics teams. These experiences will foster creative thinking and equip you with the capability to handle complex problems.

Step 3: Acquaint Yourself with Relevant Programming Languages

Master programming languages frequently used in computer science, like Python, Java, C++, and JavaScript. Knowing these languages will provide a sturdy starting point for your studies and make class participation more manageable.

Step 4: Explore the Various Subfields of Computer Science and Mathematics

Investigate different subfields within computer science and mathematics to identify your areas of interest. Participate in seminars, workshops, and conferences related to these disciplines, and network with industry professionals. This exposure will assist you in making informed decisions about your coursework and future career direction.

Step 5: Seek Guidance and Mentorship

Establish connections with professors, teachers, and industry professionals who can offer guidance and mentorship. They can provide invaluable insights into course selection, research opportunities, and potential career trajectories. Also, seek counsel from current students already undertaking a double major in computer science and mathematics.

Step 6: Enhance Your Time Management and Organizational Skills

A double major in computer science and mathematics requires a substantial time commitment. Hone your time management and organizational skills to balance your academic workload, extracurricular activities, and personal life. This will be vital for your college success and future career.

Step 7: Stay Informed about Industry Trends

Stay updated on the latest advancements in computer science and mathematics by reading industry publications, attending conferences, and engaging in online forums. Keeping pace with industry trends will help you spot emerging technologies and potential career prospects.

In summary, preparing for a double major in computer science and mathematics involves fortifying foundational knowledge, cultivating critical thinking skills, exploring various subfields, seeking mentorship, managing time effectively, and staying informed about industry trends. By adhering to these steps, you'll be well-prepared to excel in your studies and carve out a successful career in these disciplines.

Top Authoritative References
MIT OpenCourseWare - Offers free access to a wide array of course materials, including computer science and mathematics. It was used to gather information on foundational skills and programming languages.
ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) - Provides resources, events, and networking opportunities for students interested in computer science. It was used to gather information on computer science subfields and mentorship opportunities.
MathWorks - Offers MATLAB, a programming language widely used in mathematics and engineering. It was used to gather information on various programming languages and their mathematical applications.

Stay Blessed!
James Constantine Frangos.
Thank you comment icon Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question! I will be sure to use the resources you mentioned to prepare for my academic journey! Sym
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Grant’s Answer

Hi Sym! While there isn't one "best" thing to do to prepare, here are several things to do to prepare you for a CS/ Math double major:

1. Strengthen your Math Skills: A strong foundation in mathematics is crucial for both computer science and mathematics majors. Focus on calculus, algebra, and statistics if you haven't already.
2. Learn to Code: Start familiarizing yourself with programming languages such as Python, Java, or C++. There are numerous online platforms offering free coding classes.
3. Develop Problem-Solving Skills: Programming often requires a lot of logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Try to solve puzzles and engage in activities that require logical reasoning.
4. Take Relevant Classes: If your school offers advanced classes in mathematics or computer science, enroll in them if there's still time.
5. Explore Online Courses: Platforms like Coursera, Khan Academy, or Codecademy offer courses in computer science and mathematics that can prepare you for your major.
6. Read Relevant Books: There are numerous books that can provide a solid foundation for your upcoming studies. Examples are "Introduction to the Theory of Computation" by Michael Sipser for computer science, and "Calculus" by James Stewart for mathematics.

These 6 ideas should all be useful and I believe prioritizing #2 and #5 would be a good start.

I hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! This definitely points me in the right direction! Sym
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