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Thread: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2009
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    Exclamation How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    Hello.. I am doing B.Sc. IT and somehow not satisfied with my degree cause I have no maths in it which makes me non eligible for most master degree colleges in India
    So ...
    I want to be a self taught computer scientist i.e. non formal trained. I know it will be tough , but it will be fun also. What are the things that I will need to explore? I heard somewhere that in computer science it is possible to learn stuff on your own.

    I am dreaming of creating my own small experimental operating system and learn to create my own computer circuit boards(whatever it means) how much ever time it takes, 10 years 15 years whatever.

    Please tell me how I learn .. what are things a computer scientist do?
    I understand that I am going to make it a pleasure oriented study than result oriented.

    Computers have gone to nanotechnology and I know that I know nothing, still I want to learn stuff as a hobby.

    I will earn my living as a programmer.. but scientist stuff as hobby. Please tell me which books to refer and how to make stuff!
    Sorry if I am making an immature adventure.
    Regards from your loving friend
    chandu.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2007
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    Oregon, USA
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    Re: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    I think it might be difficult to learn the equivalent of an undergraduate CIS degree on your own. However, it shouldn't be a problem to learn some basic foundational stuff. I would say learn some programming languages. Get a handle on matrix algebra (subset of linear algebra). Maybe learn some digital electronics (basic logic, optimization of digital circuits, Karnaugh maps, finite state-machines, etc.). Still, I think this is all pretty basic and primitive compared to what a university degree in CIS would cover.

    I am not a CIS person by training so I'm sure others can give you much more specific and useful advice.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    I am one of those self taught computer scientists. I had to teach myself how to program when I learned at the age of 12. My Father was working as a tech at HP. So between Commodores and HP machines I taught myself 6502 basic and 68k pascal programming. Learned C/C++ in the early 90's at a local community college.

    I can understand some of the most advanced CS algorithms and code them. I currently look for OS development tools and intelligently designed tools at that. I don't know where I would begin in the modern era. Currently planning out the design of an OS at the core levels. Picking a compiler to use for which structures. The first task maybe writing my own IDE to handle coding projects I have. Most of the Opensource IDEs are written backwards to the way I would think about this process.

    If I wanted to start I would start learning a mid-level programming language like C/C++. Study Object Orientation since it was used in Assembly and C++ at the start and the ideas can be applied to most of the modern languages out. Learn the algorithms not the languages. They are applicable to most things. What I note in the world is the styles of Object orientation out there it shows up in application design on the various platforms. Most Notable is the Lazarus forums and the arrogance in the collisions of the Windows and Linux worlds.

    Just a few thoughts of my path and my opinions. Let me know if I could be more help to you.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2009
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    Well as a mechatronics engineer I've taken a course that deal with Micro- and Nanotechnolgy. I admitt it's bloody hard but seriously fun when you get enough experience with such technologies. In this course I was able to design a micro-scaled gas sensor . That would be a start.

    In order to develop your own OS. I think you'd need to start digging how to program kernels. [Please correct me if I'm wrong]

    VHDL, assembly, C, C++, Java, Perl, Ruby and Python as main programming languages. [This is also a personal opinion, do correct me if you find something missing or unnecessary]
    Jordan Open Source Association | E-mail
    Macbook (late 2008) - 2.4Ghz Core2Duo - 4GB RAM - nVidia 9400 - 250GB HDD

  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    -------------
    @ Chronon: oh no I missed a computer science degree. It was in middle of this degree that I realize that I should have done computer science.

    @azagaroz: I learnt c# in college and learning algorithms from online friends, programming contests and books. Yes I will take your help, it shall be a priviledge!

    @saif_held: yeah right... there are too many things to learn.. its so exciting.
    ---------------------------------
    At present I am thinking of practicing algorithms in spoj and topcoder very hard. I heard my online friends doing it so hard that they seeing them get top ranks in programming competitions. Now I am feeling a bit more confident to know that its possible to do it .. go computer science!

    In topcoder forums a veteran coder told me to join a college with acm team.. i wish it was true :S
    thank u!

  6. #6
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    Feb 2010
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    Re: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    Computer programmers write, test, and maintain software. They conceive,
    design, and test logical structures for solving problems with a computer.
    They write code in various languages, some conventional, some object-
    oriented. There are applications programmers who write software for a
    specific job usually in science, engineering, or business. Systems
    programmers maintain and control system software and networks.
    Because of the expanding field of computer science, there are many, many
    more tasks computer scientists can do. There are web designers who write in
    HTML for a company, computer security specialists who implement firewalls to
    secure information in a network, customer service representatives who help
    people use software or hardware they bought, or computer engineers who
    design, develop and test new hardware, or programmers who write to predict
    protein structure or genetic homology.

    Most positions require a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer
    engineering, or electrical engineering. A graduate degree is usually
    necessary for research at an academic institution.
    Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what a computer scientist does. Please
    write back if you would like more info on a certain area of computer science
    and I will try to find out for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Re: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    wow!! thank u for that reply .. and sorry for my late response. I got placed as a technical support specialist in one oil company here (appointment letter hasnt arrived) !! So I am preparing for the same. I searched google for technical support and it says I have to solve technical problems...fair enough

  8. #8
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    Dec 2006
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    Re: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    Best way to learn is to have some kind of goal in mind, and just work towards that goal. I learned HPC not from an HPC textbook, but just from the need to produce faster numerical code on clusters. From all that I learned a lot of low level concepts. It's difficult to learn something (and remember it) when it's not in context to some particular problem.

    [Edit] The big-picture concepts will come later. It's impossible to start with those, because that's not how the brain works.
    ABSTAIN from GIVING UP
    DO .1 <- ".1$'&:51~"#?1$!12~;&75SUB"?'V.1~
    PLEASE GIVE UP
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  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: How to be a self taught computer scientist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silentvoice View Post
    Best way to learn is to have some kind of goal in mind, and just work towards that goal. I learned HPC not from an HPC textbook, but just from the need to produce faster numerical code on clusters. From all that I learned a lot of low level concepts. It's difficult to learn something (and remember it) when it's not in context to some particular problem.

    [Edit] The big-picture concepts will come later. It's impossible to start with those, because that's not how the brain works.
    Correct!

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