masterMood

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I'm a high school senior who's deciding what a good, interesting major for me to do and I've found computer engineering to be pretty interesting (I am pretty good with computers).

I just wanted to know (especially from you computer engineers), how hardyou must work, if its really hard to maintain a 3.6 as an engineer, and job prospects after college (in case med. school doesn't work out for whatever reason).

I am interested in computer engineering but I would like to know what it entails and how it is practical in real-life, in med. school, and as a doctor.
 

pakidoc

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ahaa i thought i was the only one!!
i majored in computer engineering for my undergrad and had a 4.0
i dont know if the major helped me or not in getting admission. it certainly was something unique for the adcoms and i always got the question at interviews.. why CE?
id say go with ur heart, if u like the stuff go for it. just work hard, maintain ur gpa, volunteer, research etc etc.
 
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masterMood

masterMood

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i think we pakis have a propensity for c.e. and medicine in general ha ha


to prove it, watch harold and kumar go to white castle.

its about time they came out with a nonstereotypical movie about minorities.
 

AStudent

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I know quite a few C.S majors that have matriculated to medical school, it's really a great major.

The logic of writing a program helps tremendously when you get to organic and you have to write reactions, or in math during proofs.

You can major in anything you want and still go to medical school, so why not major in C.S? It'll give you something else to do if you decide that medicine isn't right.
 
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masterMood

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how does computer science compare to computer engineering? computer science is more software related and engineering is more hardware related?
 

pakidoc

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Hermit MMood said:
how does computer science compare to computer engineering? computer science is more software related and engineering is more hardware related?
your right to some extent...
CE is 50% electrical engineering aka hardware and 50% computer science (the ratio varies at different universities)

if ur choosing b/w cs and ce, go for ce. i had the same dilemma back when i was applying to college. engineering has a lot more prestige. also it is much much harder (but do-able) than cs, which will show the adcoms that u can cope with a hard major...

pakiz rule!
 

Hersey

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I doubled in CE and CS at Iowa State ('01). My only problem was that I didn't start thinking med school until summer 2000, so I've been taking night classes ever since.

CE (and, to a lesser extent, CS, depending on the structure of the curriculum) will prepare you very, very well for the physical sciences section of the MCAT.

The job market fluctuates to some degree, but overall is very good. I was able to get a good job without any trouble. (Bear in mind that this was four years ago, however.)

My major point of advice is to tie your CE/CS work into medicine in some way. E.g., work for a biotech company, etc. I worked for a major medical device manufacturer. In my PS and interview, I talked about how I felt like I was in the right business, but at the wrong end.

I was accepted EDP last September. So, I guess CE and CS work all right.
 

golfboy

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Elmer said:
Look into bioinformatics.

I'm a freshman at UNO (omaha), and i switched from computer engineering to bioinformatics this semester. I think i could have handled getting a computer engineering degree, but I don't think my grades would be all that high. Bioinformatics seemed to be a better fit because it covers all of the chemistry and biology you need, i just have to add physics as an elective. Ended up with a 3.5 for the first semester, which i wasn't terribly thrilled with, but i guess it's okay so far. I'm not sure what the adcoms would think of bioinformatics because it's relativly new.

I didn't mind computer engineering, but i wasn't exactly enthused about it...but the nice thing is that an engineering degree sets you up quite nicely for a job after 4 years, but who cares if you want to go to med school?
 

An Yong

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Hermit MMood said:
how does computer science compare to computer engineering? computer science is more software related and engineering is more hardware related?
I'm a cs/math major, but I know a few people in CE.

CS deals with the software aspects of computers. Its a major that pretty much focuses on the analysis and implementation of algorithms. As a result, you'll be using a lot of theoretical mathematics (abstract algebra, analysis, etc.). Depending on the curriculum, you may not actually take abstract algebra/analysis, but you'll definately see some of the concepts in your cs classes. In addition, you'll get training in language theory as its a huge part of CS. In addition, CS tends to require a solid knowledge of matrix algebra, especially if you plan on focusing in scientific computing/numerical analysis. Since CS relies so much on theoretical math, your going to get really comfortable with doing proofs. Although, if you do go into numerical analysis, you'll be doing a lot of applied stuff too... although in a different way since math using computers doesn't have all the same rules because of its finite nature. The nice thing about CS is that for most schools, its really easy to do a double major in math.

CE deals with more of the hardware design of computers. The person earlier who posted that CE is much harder, I think it really depends on the person. Because CE is part electrical engineering, your going to be using a lot more applied math versus the theoretical. My old roommate was ee, and as far as I know he didn't really have to do many proofs. Not to the extent anyways as CS/math major. In terms of the math, he was usually just responsible for knowing how to use equation x. So if you don't want to be responsible for proving things, CE might be the way to go. Which might not be a bad idea, because when it comes to proofs... the amount of work you put in doesn't necessarily translate into a better grade.

If I had to do it over again... I think I would have just majored in biology and be done with it in 3-4 years, instead of the 5 its taking me now :laugh:
 
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masterMood

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wow, CE sounds more like something i would be interested in then.


do any of you know what the average GPA for computer engineers is (if you put in a good effort, you're relatively strong at math [my math score on the sats was 720, and i got a 5 on the calc ab if that means anything], etc).

and since pre-meds have to take a lot of pre-med stuff freshmen year, when/can one start doing the CE courses?

thirdly, how is the job market for c.e.s? i read recent information how computer engineers are one of the highest paid jobs nowadays, however this contradicts the fact that c.e. has been on the decline supposedly (exporting jobs, superinflation of market, etc). They make one of the highest starting salaries, but why don't other engineers make as nearly as much?
 

tinkerbelle

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CE >>>> CS (in my opinion). My friends started taking CE classes sophomore year. All my friends who had CE concentrations found awesome jobs.... everyone else who was a bme with a different engineering concentration had a hard time finding a job.
 

TX_Longhorn

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hmm...a comp engineering degree will be much better than a CS degree. as a matter of fact do elec. engineering that will be even better in my opinion, i did EE also and feel like its prepared me well. EE will also give you more options to specialise in smth like bioinformatics or biomedical engineering depending on the school you attend. keeping a high gpa in engineering or CS is definitely tricky, but it again depends on the school you attend (i managed a 3.9 but sacrificed a lot of social life).
my friends that graduated with me with an EE have nice jobs paying about 35/hr.
as for me, i'm just bumming around in austin until med school starts.
good luck with choosing a good major.
 

ferzen

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TX_Longhorn said:
hmm...a comp engineering degree will be much better than a CS degree. as a matter of fact do elec. engineering that will be even better in my opinion, i did EE also and feel like its prepared me well. EE will also give you more options to specialise in smth like bioinformatics or biomedical engineering depending on the school you attend. keeping a high gpa in engineering or CS is definitely tricky, but it again depends on the school you attend (i managed a 3.9 but sacrificed a lot of social life).
my friends that graduated with me with an EE have nice jobs paying about 35/hr.
as for me, i'm just bumming around in austin until med school starts.
good luck with choosing a good major.
EE speaking hear. Engineering is definately a plus when applying to Med School. It will set you apart from all the other typical Nat Sci. people. I did Pre-med and Electrical Engineering with focus on biomedical elctronics and my interviews loved me.

Lots of Luck.
 

ramblinwreckie

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I wouldn't recommend engineering if you're dead set on medicine. I'm a ChemE, and it has taken its toll after a while. It does set you apart from other applicants, but it's just so much harder that it might not be really worth it. I have a bunch of engineering friends who were/are really limited in the med school application process because of how difficult and time-consuming engineering is. But, if you love engineering and are sure of it, then, by all means, knock yourself out (literally). I just never liked engineering and somewhat regret majoring in it. However, there's a lot of schools that I have a chance at now that I wouldn't have had I been a bio major. Just make sure you'll be able to handle it.
 

pjm

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Don't get too hung up on the CS/CE distinction -- look at each school individually.

When I was looking (a million years ago) I avoided the "pure" CS programs that were basically "math with computers". I also avoided the "electrical engineering with software." and went for something in the middle. It turns out that every school has a different setup, and they all use different names for it.

I ended up at MIT as Course 6 (there's one solution for the name dilemma.) My diplomas say "electrical engineering and computer science", but we were quite free to design our degree program to emphasize whatever side we wanted.

If you're worried about job prospects, choose a school that has a fifth-year master's degree option. A master's degree gets more jobs, more money. (At MIT, fifth year is usually paid for via fellowship, no teaching required.)

The only thing you really need to do to improve your job prospects is an internship. I interned with two companies and learned huge amounts there, plus made some money for school.

So, what about medicine? I did undergraduate research for nearly my entire time there in medical imaging. I got plenty of exposure to MDs and real clinical problems, and had great stories for adcoms.

I actually gave up on fulfilling the prereqs halfway through. I figured that if I really wanted to go to med school, I could just pick up the science labs somewhere else. After working for five years in the software world I spent six months taking classes to finish the bio and ochem labs. (technically I was short by 1/3 year on some prereqs, but no schools seemed to care.)