Re: virus: Holy Fire

ken sartor (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 09:44:56 -0500

At 01:22 AM 9/26/96 -0500, wrote:
>On Mon, 26 Nov 1956, David Leeper wrote:

>2) The pay pales compared to computer science [programming, systems
>analysts, etc.]. At K-State, many mid-level CIS courses are so devoted
>to instruction that they just blow way students blinded by $$ and armed
>with total incompetence. There's a lot of those students.

Last i looked, BS computer scientists started in the low 30's,
BS mathematicians int the high 20's... but perhaps the more significant
data is that CS's have much more opportunity for employment. Many
math majors end up taking jobs somewhat outside their fields. But
this is because CS's do "useful" work by their very nature, whereas
abstract (read research) mathematicians do art (read research).
Add to this that CS can do "useful" work with a BS in their field,
whereas mathematicians need a PhD, and a postdoc or two to do
research and i think you will see the lack of appeal for math.
(Same thing pretty much holds for physics, in which i have
personal experience).

Mathematicians do it for love and passion, CS do it for a living.
(OK - i *may* have gone slightly overboard with this...)

> When I took CIS 500 as an undergraduate pretending to be a dual
>major in CIS and Mathematics [before I realized that CIS is more like
>Engineering than like Arts and Science; K-State officially shifted it
> 25 out of 60 dropped on Last Day to Drop with a W.
> 19 out the remaining 35 FAILED.
> CIS is apparently worth the above risks. Mathematics isn't.

I was going to respond separately to this but the above diatribe
seems to be sufficient.

>3) Only a small proportion of the population has the combined physical
>endurance and physical capability to understand it.

Seems to me that you overestimate the difficulty of mathematics and/or
the appeal of it. Someone recently posted a missive stating that
people tend to do the easiest things... watching tv is easier than
studying philosophy (or studying abstract math), so it tends to
get done more.

Same thing can be applied to tennis, chess, etc. Not that people
are incapable, just not motivated. (Of course, PHYSICS *is* different,
you have to have tremendous intellect, incredible physical stamina,
a good sense of humour, and lots of sex appeal ;-)