Computer Science Education

August 26, 2006 at 1:48 pm | Posted in College Life, Life, Personal, Tech | 4 Comments

Definition of Computer Science from Wikipedia is:

Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems.[1][2][3] Computer science has many sub-fields; some emphasize the computation of specific results (such as computer graphics), while others (such as computational complexity theory) relate to properties of computational problems. Still others focus on the challenges in implementing computations. For example, programming language theory studies approaches to describing computations, while computer programming applies specific programming languages to solve specific computational problems.”

So basically, what we’ve learnt from our course are just some basic programming languages.

What Jeff said was right, we can’t rely on our college or lecturers for learning all of the computer science stuff.  We should explore ourselves in order to equip us with sufficient “bullets” to handle the real-world situation (i.e. our future working environment).

IMHO, colleges / universities are just places to help students build their foundation. It’s not enough even after we graduated.  Nowadays, a degree qualification doesn’t mean anything special, it’s just a prove that you’ve gone through some formal education.  So, what you have inside depends on what you’ve learnt all these while.

Sometimes I’m so sad to know that some of the computer science students are having problem with some simple computer operations.  Or maybe I should say, I’m sad to know that they chose to study computer science not because of they’re interested.  So, I can understand how they would be like this.  However, even though they’re not a computer science students, they should know and make use of some computer technologies in order to “survive” in this world.  Nowadays, emails, IM etc are so common in some working places.  Furthermore, how can you make excuses if you are really a computer science student?

For learning of low-level programming languages issue, I’m not going to give lengthly opinion.  IMHO, the reason why colleges / universities kept emphasizing of learning higher-level programming languages (such as Java, C# etc.) is because nowadays the market needs more higher-level programmers than lower-level programmers.  Please understand that writing programs in lower-level programming languages are time consuming.  And, not everybody has the ability to write programs in lower-level programming languages.  But I can’t admit that, we still need experts with lower-level programming skills.  Actually, it’s a must.  So that’s why learning of lower-level programming languages would be at Master or PhD level.

I can understand why some of the students still continue to study the courses (diploma or degree level) that they don’t actually like.  It is because they need the qualification in order to allow them to find a job.  So basically, these kind of people won’t further their studies in the same field.

 

Sorry for this mess.  In the end what I would like to say is: continue to learn by yourselves what you think you should know.  Education in colleges / universities is just helping you to build foundations for your field of study.  It’s not enough.  I agree with the Chinese Idioms of “Learn until the day you die” (I’m not sure if I can translate it like this).

So, instead of relying on the education system, why don’t we rely on ourselves?  Learning needs initiative that we should have in ourselves.

To those who are studying Computer Science: please equip yourself with adequate computer skills.  It’s a shame to tell people you’re a computer science students while you know little about computers.

Sorry if I hurt some of you.  Anyway, it’s just my humble opinions.

Feel free to give comments here if you agree or disagree with me.

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4 Comments »

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  1. Well, assuming that you read this article too, you’ve got it all wrong..

    The reason for learning low-level stuff according to the article, is to weed out mediocre programmers.. to sharpen students minds to work at multiple levels of abstraction simultaneously..

    Technologies like C#, Java can be picked up by such a student in a matter of days.. it’s just a freakin’ technology.. as a matter of fact, some Unis (I’m not sure whether it was MMU) use C++ as the language of choice to teach OO.. I sorta feel stupid too, not knowing any C++ at all..

  2. I agree with you and also the author. Maybe Malaysia’s educator should revise their education system. It’s a failure to see graduates don’t have the necessary skills to be able to work.

    I would think pessimisticallly, some of the students (or most of them) couldn’t survive if low-level languages brought into the computer science syllabus.

  3. […] discovered that I wrote a post regarding Computer Science Education while reading Jeff’s old blog post. This reminds me of my purpose of choosing Computer […]


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