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BU Schedule – Semester 1, Freshman Year

I plan to major in Computer Science with a possible minor in Psychology. I have dropped Spanish and will be studying Japanese.

I elected to follow the Divisional Studies track rather than the Core Curriculum track. With DS, all of BU's introductory courses (Psych 101, Bio 101, etc) are put into one of four categories: Math and Compsci, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. I must take two classes in every field that is not where my major resides. Even if I decide to switch majors, thus requiring me to take two classes in Math and Compsci, I will have covered my Divisional Studies requirements for it anyway by the end of my first term.

I'll reserve my opinion on how good my schedule is until a few weeks after school starts, when the fatigue starts setting in. We aren't allowed to take more than four courses the first term (and never more than six) so I'll use this term to determine next term's courseload.

MA127 – This is the calculus class for those who have already taken calculus in high school. It condenses two terms of material into a single term. I already took calculus in Stuyvesant, so I shouldn't have to struggle too much with learning, just remembering. Getting a 720 on the Math SAT II exempted me from BU's math requirement, and as a compsci major I don't need to take any math courses to fill the DS requirements, but many of the mandatory compsci classes require calc, so I might as well take it while it's still fresh and get it over with.

CS112 (C++) – I'm skipping CS111 (which was easy to do, considering my AP score and my programming experience) and heading onto CS112, with a focus on C++ since I'm much weaker in it than Java. I've already set up my laptop with Ubuntu and installed emacs and gcc (and the JDE since I do prefer Java), so I should be able to program without constantly being confused by a GUI compiler like Eclipse. Old habits die hard; I instinctively type gcc -Wall after Ctrl-X-C. I'll have to pick up a good book to help me out; I was able to do so well in AP Compsci because the Java textbook was very good, and helped me understand concepts and syntax that I didn't pick up while sleeping. Any recommendations?

WR100 – I did not qualify for WR150 (so I don't get to skip a class!) but English classes have never been a problem for me aside from procrastinating on papers, so I'm not worried. There were many different types of writing classes, from scifi to children's books to Asian literature, but since I did want to experiment with the field of pscyhology, I took the class that was focused on readings in psychology and psychoanalysis. I plan to have the same class synergy when I fill another DS requirement by taking an Anthropology course focusing on the study and evolution of human behavior.

LJ101 – I've gotten past the notion of becoming fluent enough to read manga and understand anime. After all, I've spent god knows how many years studying Spanish, and I can just barely read the signs in the subway (much less understand soap operas!). Hopefully a little of my otaku enthusiasm will still be present, so that I have motivation for learning a complex language while coping with a new environment.

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  1. Nice schedule. I still haven’t done mine yet… It’s all very “wtf? 5 hours of chem lab?!” I’m thinking of majoring in neuroscience, cognitive science, or cognitive neuroscience. (They’re all different- who knew? …and isn’t cognitive neuroscience redundant?) You have a good well-rounded schedule though. With lots of 1337 requirement-fulfilling. And what else is freshman year good for if not 1337 requirement-fulfilling?

    I was thinking of setting up a computer with Ubuntu. I don’t know anything about programming… or Linux… but now I can annoy you if I go through with it and end up causing minor catastrophes…

    • BU has this undergrad/grad program for a BS/MS in Computer Science and Cognitive and Neural Systems. The meshing of the two fields, since I’m interested in both, sounds awesome. The only thing I’m worried about is the workload…we’ll see how it goes.

      Ubuntu is quite nice, but Linux is usually a hassle that isn’t worth it. The process has gotten easier though, and the forums are lively if you decide to stick with it. Feel free to shoot questions my way. The only thing you need to know off the bat is a cute user and computer name combo to use when you install Ubuntu 😀 . Katamari@Damacy ftw. (Pika@Chu came in as a close second…and would have let me make the users Pi and Rai!)

  2. Good for you on picking Divisional Studies–I heard Core was a pain. Having to figure out how the hell CAS programming works, though, makes me glad I’m in CFA. (The program is infinitely easier to comprehend)

    I’m still stuck between Japanese and Chinese. I have a feeling that Chinese might be better for me, career wise, since their economy is supposedly booming and in high demand for graphic designers, but the child-like dream of designing black mage costumes for Square-Enix is tempting, if not largely inaccessible. But I can’t start taking a language till sophomore year anyway, so I guess Ill stop by and ask you how Japanese is going before I decide.

    Oh, and I was impressed and freaked out by your new comment verification thingy. Did you use to have problems with mass computerized comments before? I didn’t even know that existed.

    And contrary to popular opinion, this comment is NOT egregiously late.

    • The choice between DS and Core was a no-brainer for me: would I rather spend two years learning about stodgy old guys talking in weird English about things I couldn’t care less about, or take classes in topics I actually care about and have an interest in?

      Sure, I’ll guinea pig it for you. I would’ve liked to finally stop getting evil looks from people when I say that I don’t know Chinese. “Oh no, you’re abandoning your culture!” I hate that…I shouldn’t be forced to learn a language just because I was born a certain race. But the real kicker is that even if I did want to learn Chinese, very few colleges teach Cantonese. Even if I did become fluent in Mandarin, I would only be able to get the basic gist of what my parents and grandparents talk about in Canto, which is the reason I’d be taking Chinese in the first place.

      I did and sometimes still do have spam problems. It comes in spurts, but usually cools down once people realize that it’s not working. Spam Karma 2 is a plugin for WordPress, which meant that I can’t claim any credit for it and can only bow down in reverence. It tries not to flag real comments, and it tries even harder not to give delete real comments, but I’m willing to put up with a little CAPTCHA test in order to protect my site.

      Contrary to popular opinion, I usually misspell and mispronounce it “egregriously.” It’s all good, considering I rarely post nowadays…

  3. i’m glad you’re so into your courses. i keep checking your site for updates, but there haven’t been any. tell us how life has been!

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