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Old 04-25-2012, 03:06 AM   #76
checkm8
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Only time I've used it for menu displays, like an ATM menu where pressing 0 exits or smthn like that..
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:46 PM   #77
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

So my password no longer works on Go_Blue88, and I have no idea how to get into the email address associated with that account...so now I'm posting from this one.

Quick Update:

I finished my first semester. I got an A in Discrete Mathematics and an A- in Java I. For whatever reason, Discrete Math came really naturally to me...I had a 98% going into the final and the class average was in the mid 70's. Java did not come as easily...I worked extremely hard and only got an A-. I feel that my Java teacher was not very good because he did not seem to care at all about his lectures. Overall that really bothers me because I am paying him a lot of money to teach me--so even if Java I is way "beneath" him, I still expect him to care about the material. I hope that programming teachers get better as I get to the tougher classes.

Also, I started a new job working for a software start up. I am responsible for business development. I sit next to the main software developer, and hopefully I'll be able to learn from him.

Overall I need to practice Java a lot over the summer. On Sunday I'll post a few of my programs for feedback (I am much better than when I first posted a program...but still an amateur for sure). If anyone has advice on improving my fundamentals over the summer, please let me know. Also, since I really enjoy math related stuff, let me know if there's any classes worth taking. For example, would Calculus help?
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:55 PM   #78
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

mods can help you get the old account back if you remember details about it, such as recent PM convos it had with reputable users, it's birthday etc. PM Bobo Fett or SGT RJ for help.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:08 PM   #79
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

and yeah for sure post some of your sample programs and your thinking behind them, bound to be helpful!
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:01 AM   #80
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

If discrete math came easy that's really good news regarding CS. Take stuff like complexity theory, information theory, cryptography, maybe specialize in graph theory/search.

AI while not obviously related at first glance seems like a natural as well (search algorithms and logic make up good chunks of it and should come somewhat natural).

For the programming...you're doing it right as well. Write as much code as possible experiment as much as possible. In my opinion it's way easier to teach yourself the basics of some language off the internet/a book and hack away than learning it in a class.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:23 AM   #81
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Nice work on the course and the job.

On the java front it should get easier the more programs you write and the more time you spend on it.

What difficulties did you have in Java I? Syntax stuff, loops, how it all gels together?

Try doing some code challenges on programr.com to get more experience writing java code.

They have easy, medium and hard ranked programs so just dive in on the easy and work you're way up. Word of warning, some of the challenges are bugged and won't recognize that you got the correct solution but unless you're a nit about that kind of thing it won't matter.

hint: google "java 6 get letters in string" and that sort of thing if you're having trouble with the problems. It'll be a good way to use commonly used classes/functions in the language.

Last edited by mindsplatter; 06-17-2012 at 11:26 AM. Reason: hint
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:40 AM   #82
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Oh yeah and use source control for all your course projects and everything else that you write.

Git is a good option and bitbucket offers free unlimited private repo's with up to 5 collaborators. That should cover any multi-person college projects. It'll have the extra hassle of another learning curve but it's so worth it in the end.

Or find out what they use in your work and use that.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:01 PM   #83
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Here is one program I could not get to work right. I spent literally 40 hours working on this. How would you approach this problem? I originally tried to return an array in the rollDice method but that didn't work either so I turned this in for the most partial credit. Why wouldn't this work? For some reason it only works for 1 roll but multiple rolls creates an error. You can roll as many dice as you want but only one time.

Quote:
(50 points) Write a program which simulates dice rolling. The program receives two inputs from the user. The first input (let's call it n) tells the program how many dice it should use, and the second input (let's call it r) indicates how many rolls of the dice it should simulate.
Dice are 6-sided, and the sides are numbered 1 through 6. Each time the n dice are rolled, their numbers should be added together, producing a result between n and 6n. For example, if there are 2 dice, a roll of the dice will produce a number between 2 and 12 (inclusive).

Your program should use an array to count how many times each possible result occurs in r rolls of the dice. Then, the number of times each possible roll has occurred should be displayed to the user.
Code:
import java.util.Scanner; 
public class Rolling_Dice{

public static int rollDie() {
   return (int)(1 + 6*Math.random());
 }
   public static int rollDice(int numberOfDice, int numberOfRolls) {
        
        int dice;
        int sum=0;
        
       
        for (int j=0; j<numberOfRolls; j++) {
            for (int i=0; i<numberOfDice; i++){
         
            dice = (int) (Math.random()*6) +1; 
    
            sum = sum + dice;
            
            //int [ ]dice_values =new int [sum];
              
            
        }
        
            
    }
    return sum;  
}

      public static void main(String[ ] args) {
      Scanner input = new Scanner(System.in);
      int numberOfDice;
      int numberOfRolls;
      int Values; 
      int dice; 
      
      
      System.out.println ("Enter the number of dice you wish to use:");
      numberOfDice = input.nextInt();
      
      System.out.println ("How many rolls would you like to make?");
      numberOfRolls=input.nextInt();  
      
     Values = Rolling_Dice.rollDice (numberOfDice, numberOfRolls); 
     
        int [ ]counts=new int[numberOfDice *6 +1]; 
        
  for(int i=numberOfDice; i<counts.length; i++){
                
               counts[i] =0;
                
               counts[Values] = counts[i]+1; 
                
             
                System.out.println (+i + ":" + counts[i]);

       }
       
   
        }
              
    }
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:38 PM   #84
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Why wouldn't this work?
possibly this:
Code:
for(int i=numberOfDice; i<counts.length; i++){
It's always* for(int i=0, blahblahblah; i++)

*not necessarily always, but very often. (set counter to zero, test counter, increment counter)

Annoyingly my ancient OS won't install javac packages (or any package for that matter) - so I can't test anything and am going on "mental compilation" lol. And I don't know Java so that's likely not a good compiler!

Quote:
How would you approach this problem?
Looks like you were on the right track. Basically same way I'd approach anything like this - find the smallest unit of problem, in this case a single dice roll. Code it, test, and extend (e.g. multiple dice roll at once), test again, extend again (e.g. multiple "games", keeping track of totals), test again, repeat. Finally wrap it in "fluff" like the user inputs, to start with I'd just have variables hard coded.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:24 AM   #85
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

I had to read your teacher's requirements like 10 times to figure out what he wanted. You basically wrote a program that is summing the results of all the rolls. Your teacher want the results of each roll of the set of dice. For example if you have 5 rolls you should list 5 different sums.

Code:
  for(int i=numberOfDice; i<counts.length; i++){
                
               counts[i] =0;
                
               counts[Values] = counts[i]+1; 
                
             
                System.out.println (+i + ":" + counts[i]);

       }
Think about what this for loop is doing and why it's wrong. array[x] sets or gets the index x in array to some value. What you are doing in this for loop is setting a value in a random index to one and every other value in the array is being set to zero.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:52 AM   #86
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Ya, decription from teacher is aids.

Simplify the problem. With n =1 and r=2 you roll the dice twice. Say results are 3 and 4. So your array returns [3,4]
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:11 AM   #87
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Ya, I know the description is terrible. I was confused at first too and had to email him.

He wanted us to write a program that counts the number of times each number hits. For example, if the user rolls 2 dice twice, then you will hae an array from 2 to 12. Or in other words, [0000000000000]. Then, let's say you roll a 2. Your array would look like: [1000000000000]. Let's say you roll a 4 on the second roll. Now it would look like: [10100000000]. And the print out would be

2: 1
3: 0
4: 1
5: 0
6: 0
7: 0
8: 0
9: 0
10: 0
11: 0
12: 0
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:50 PM   #88
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Hey guys,

I PM'ed OP and he suggested I post in here as well to get your thoughts. Have taken math through real analysis and am taking intro to programming starting on Monday. I've read over a good chunk of the book and get the sense I'm going to like this kind of thing. What courses would you recommend someone in my position take in the fall?

Thanks for the help,
Mariogs
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:56 AM   #89
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariogs37 View Post
Hey guys,

I PM'ed OP and he suggested I post in here as well to get your thoughts. Have taken math through real analysis and am taking intro to programming starting on Monday. I've read over a good chunk of the book and get the sense I'm going to like this kind of thing. What courses would you recommend someone in my position take in the fall?

Thanks for the help,
Mariogs
Take as many programming courses as you can get away with.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:40 PM   #90
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Anything more specific?
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:33 PM   #91
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

I'm thinking of leaving my job to focus entirely on what I am learning in class as well as practice other relevant material in my down time. It's a pretty big decison, but I feel like I put myself in the best chance to succeed in the future if I 100% dedicate myself to learning the material rather than only study from 6am to 7 am and then 7pm to 10 pm after work like I did last semester. On the other hand, I think the 4 hours I studied per day may have been more than my classmates who did not have jobs.

As an update, my next two classes are:
Quote:
Intermediate programming in Java and problem solving. Writing Java programs with multiple classes: constructors, visibility modifiers, static members, accessor and mutator methods, and arrays of objects. Inheritance, polymorphism, and interfaces. Sorting arrays of primitive data and arrays of objects. Exception handling
and

Quote:
A course on computer systems topics, focusing on machine-level programming and architecture and their relevance for application programming. Information representations, assembly language and debuggers, processor architecture, program optimization, memory hierarchy and caching.
They start in September, and I'm really looking forward to them. I will need to make my decision regarding leaving my job before then.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:39 AM   #92
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Go_Blue88 View Post
As I have alluded to, the University of Chicago boasts on their website that this program is perfect for people who are switching careers. However, I went to an informational session last night and they were basically like "If you do not have a Math background and you have limited programming experience, this will be VERY VERY difficult for you." This includes the Immersion phase which interested me so much. The Immersion Phase involves one Discrete Mathematics class and one Programming class. By saying the Immersion Phase will be too challenging for someone without prior experience, they completely contradicted their website.


Anyway, that threw me off, but I am going to arrange a meeting with the head of admissions to discuss this further and figure out whether this program is right for me.
I suspect they overcompensate for a website that has been 'marketingised'. however it will be very difficult for you because you have so much to learn and you are going to have to work very hard.

Hopefully you see that as a good thing. If not then hopefully they put you off.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:43 PM   #93
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by chezlaw View Post
I suspect they overcompensate for a website that has been 'marketingised'. however it will be very difficult for you because you have so much to learn and you are going to have to work very hard.

Hopefully you see that as a good thing. If not then hopefully they put you off.
FYI- I chose not to go to the U of C and it ended up being a great decision. You are right that the material is very difficult, but I've never been so motivated to succeed at something. I'm also nervous, but the skills I'll be learning will be useful regardless of the outcome. In other words, the outcome won't be "Get a job vs won't get a job," it will be "Get a job you really want vs a job that's just OK."
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:48 PM   #94
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Just read this thread from top to bottom. You seem to be in good shape. A lot of people really under estimate how important English is for programming.

In the end, programming is about taking a problem and creating a solution. To solve a problem you need to fully understand the problem. Understanding the problem is the best possible thing you can do to eventually solve it.

Once you know the problem, then you can map out how to solve it piece by piece.

If I were you, I would spend free time really trying your hardest to find content/courses online which assist in learning how to solve problems, critical thinking and logic in general.

Learning Java in the grand scheme of things is kind of useless. Java is just a tool. Learn how to solve problems and then apply that to any tool to reach a solution. Java won't teach you how to program or teach you how to solve a problem. It's just 1 of many tools to assist you in solving a problem that has nothing to do with Java.

It's only useful if you want to be a Java developer, and if you want to do that then by all means go for it because there's nothing wrong with that decision.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:12 PM   #95
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by adios View Post
Take as many programming courses as you can get away with.
Hey guys,

I wanted to follow up now that I'm done with my intro course. I did well, really liked it, and am doing this in the fall:

http://www.cs.nyu.edu/webapps/conten...c/graduate/pac

Here's the thing: Based on their estimates, it'll only be 20 hrs/week or so. Given my interest in founding / joining a tech startup, what would you recommend I do with that extra time?

I was considering taking this:

http://cs.nyu.edu/courses/fall12/CSC...labus_fa12.php

OTOH, if you think I'll need an MA to really contribute/be taken seriously at a startup, maybe a diff course makes sense?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:29 PM   #96
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe Lace View Post
Just read this thread from top to bottom. You seem to be in good shape. A lot of people really under estimate how important English is for programming.

In the end, programming is about taking a problem and creating a solution. To solve a problem you need to fully understand the problem. Understanding the problem is the best possible thing you can do to eventually solve it.

Once you know the problem, then you can map out how to solve it piece by piece.

If I were you, I would spend free time really trying your hardest to find content/courses online which assist in learning how to solve problems, critical thinking and logic in general.

Learning Java in the grand scheme of things is kind of useless. Java is just a tool. Learn how to solve problems and then apply that to any tool to reach a solution. Java won't teach you how to program or teach you how to solve a problem. It's just 1 of many tools to assist you in solving a problem that has nothing to do with Java.

It's only useful if you want to be a Java developer, and if you want to do that then by all means go for it because there's nothing wrong with that decision.
Thanks for the response. I am hoping that my 5 years of work experience will provide me with a skill combination that will allow me to get a great job in the future once I finish my degree. Earlier a few people mentioned Consulting, which is something I will look into. Below I pasted parts of my resume--it would be interesting to hear if people think there would be a natural transition into a certain career. I still don't know what career I am going after with this degree--I just know that it's a skill set that will help me build a great future for myself.

Please note that I know that my resume is not currently related to anything involved with Computer Science. What I will need to do is pick out skills from it that will be enhanced by learning new skills in Computer Science. Of course I will go after what interests me, but I also want to be strategic with the career path I choose since I know I will be competing against others who have been programming since they were 12.

EDUCATION

DEPAUL UNIVERISTY Chicago, IL
College of Computing and Digital Media
Master of Science in Computer Science

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Ann Arbor, MI
College of Literature, Science & Arts
Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy
GPA: 3.53/4.00

Account Manager [1 YEAR]
 Successfully grossed more than $400,000 in sales for the company, surpassing the assigned goal and ranking #2 in first year hires;
 Analyzed the needs of companies ranging from logistics/asset tracking to warehouse management/inventory control and created customized solutions designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs;
 Developed long term relationships based on a service-oriented approach that involved a thorough understanding of the customer’s perspective, responsiveness, and technical support;
 Studied and specialized in data capture technology related to barcodes, barcode scanners, RFID, mobile computers, and various types of software;
 Obtained Motorola certifications in Barcode Technology and Data Capture solutions.


Midwest Franchise Business Manager [1 YEAR]
 Successfully grossed more than $250,000 in franchise fees and royalties and $1.2 million in franchisee investments;
 Analysis, Direction, and Training led to a 100% increase in revenue for the Midwest region;
 Audited franchisees throughout the Midwest each month in order to provide feedback and ensure compliance with company standards and guidelines;
 Analyzed marketing plans and business plans of each franchisee in order to increase profitability and hosted web conferences regarding ways to increase revenue, new company policies, and social media;
 Trained franchisees on all aspects of business including understanding the educational program, selling products to clients and utilizing the ERP system;
 Utilized Direct Mail, Newspapers, Google Pay-Per-Click, and Internet Advertising to create brand awareness within the region.


Proprietary Treasury and Corn Futures Trader [3 YEARS]
 Performed in-depth trend analysis while monitoring multiple markets in real-time in order to develop and maintain a profitable strategy;
 Analyzed daily trades to assess returns versus expected value;
 Possessed sole responsibility and discretion regarding each trade;
 Counseled and advised colleagues regarding market trends, research and risks and aided them in the development of trade strategy;
 Utilized software including TT, CQG and Microsoft Excel in order to analyze trading statistics such as percent winners, percent losers, average winning trades and average losing trades.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:50 AM   #97
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariogs37 View Post
Hey guys,

I wanted to follow up now that I'm done with my intro course. I did well, really liked it, and am doing this in the fall:

http://www.cs.nyu.edu/webapps/conten...c/graduate/pac

Here's the thing: Based on their estimates, it'll only be 20 hrs/week or so. Given my interest in founding / joining a tech startup, what would you recommend I do with that extra time?

I was considering taking this:

http://cs.nyu.edu/courses/fall12/CSC...labus_fa12.php

OTOH, if you think I'll need an MA to really contribute/be taken seriously at a startup, maybe a diff course makes sense?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
1) Use the 20h to get an internship that involves programming or use it to do some project yourself, (optionally) opensource it and put it on github.
2) Most startups don't give a **** about your degree tbh
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:14 PM   #98
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by clowntable View Post
1) Use the 20h to get an internship that involves programming or use it to do some project yourself, (optionally) opensource it and put it on github.
2) Most startups don't give a **** about your degree tbh
That's clearly false. In fact one of the best places to find a start-up is networking from inside a university. Faculty is often entrepreneurial. University towns are often filled with startups.

To the OP I'd wait a few weeks into the semester and see how much free time you have before considering filling it.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:39 PM   #99
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by au4all View Post
That's clearly false. In fact one of the best places to find a start-up is networking from inside a university. Faculty is often entrepreneurial. University towns are often filled with startups.

To the OP I'd wait a few weeks into the semester and see how much free time you have before considering filling it.
Also, I wonder how much I'd really be able to contribute programming-wise in the fall, given that I'll only have an intro course under my belt and then part of the fall semester...

I guess I can talk to profs?
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:12 PM   #100
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariogs37 View Post
Also, I wonder how much I'd really be able to contribute programming-wise in the fall, given that I'll only have an intro course under my belt and then part of the fall semester...

I guess I can talk to profs?
You won't be able to contribute at all programming-wise. I joined a startup with a similar idea in mind, and the software developer has 20 years of experience. I do some stuff with SQL to help out, and I also make a lot of product recommendations based on my research with the consumer base in the field; but I am not ready at all to make meaningful contributions in terms of programming after one intro Java class.
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