[Israel.pm] [hackers-il] My opinion on the Technion - revision 1.5

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Fri Mar 23 08:07:42 PDT 2007

On Thursday 22 March 2007, guy keren wrote:
> shlomi - i think you're a good example for a student that went to the
> wrong faculty.

Perhaps. However, I don't regret taking EE instead of CS, because I learned a 
lot of new things I didn't know, and deepened my understanding of how 
computers work, some high math, signal processing, and networking. I have 
second thoughts on going to the university in the first place, but I guess 
you can change that.

> everything you seem to find interest in, falls under programming. 

That's not true. I'm also interested in: philosophy, linguistics, history 
(especially pre-Renaissance), writing, the Old Testament and other things. As 
far as my studies were concerned I found many topics interesting that were 
not purely CS: signal processing (including image processing), logic design, 
some electronics, thermodynamics, the math we learned, etc. Most Electrical 
Engineers nowadays sit at the computer all day, and program something 
(including Verilog or VHDL) or at most design circuits. Some of the "lucky" 
ones manage the electrical circuitry of buildings, or power supplies etc. and 
(BTW, there's a huge shortage of those, and has been even during the bubble.)

The EE department in the Technion gives many courses on Mathematics and 
Computer Science. I think the CS courses tend to be easier and more focused 
and with a practical orientation than their equivalents as given by the CS 
department. And there are courses equivalent to EE ones at the CS department. 

It's really a huge waste of resources. I overheard someone said that you 
should take the EE department and the CS department, and throw them both to 
the sea for letting so much politics interfere with running efficiently. If 
you ask me, I think they should be merged, as is the case in MIT where they 
have one department for both. And moreover, now the Industrial Engineering 
department started having its own courses in Computer Science. 

> you 
> should have gone into the CS faculty instead. you didn't know that in
> advance, i imagine (hardly anyone does) - but i think that once you
> realized this, you should have had the courage to make the switch,
> instead of forcing yourself to continue suffering. 

As much as I was "suffering", and recall that towards the end, it got much 
better, I still learned a lot. And I believe I would have found many courses 
pointless and redundant when studying CS too. And it certainly would have 
been more of a challenge. 

In this article:


Paul Graham says:

Another way to figure out which fields are worth studying is to create the  
dropout graph. For example, I know many people who switched from math to 
computer science because they found math too hard, and no one who did the 
opposite. People don't do hard things gratuitously; no one will work on a 
harder problem unless it is proportionately (or at least log(n)) more 
rewarding. So probably math is more worth studying than computer science. By 
similar comparisons you can make a graph of all the departments in a 
university. At the bottom you'll find the subjects with least intellectual 

Now, I didn't know any people who switched to studying EE from any other 
department because the other department was too hard. So I was probably be in 
a good company.

I'd rather be a tail for the lions than the head of the foxes, and I was 
actually quite good as an EE student all considering. I graduated with an 
average of 84.6% (cum laude), while not taking an exam or a course again 
after I received a passing grade. And like I said, some things in EE or 
Physics are less intuitive to me, and I don't have the knack for them as I do 
for CS. 

> even if you have done 
> that after 2 years, you could have completed a 3-years BA in CS in the
> same time you studied EE overall (it took you 5 years, right?).

It actually took me 11 semesters with 2 vacation semesters in the middle.

> i would have added this to your criticism - to put it in context ;)

I don't think it's true. I should probably address it there and paste a 
formatted reply.

BTW, I know someone who graduated from Mechanical Engineering in the Technion, 
but didn't want to sit next to the computer all day, doing CAD design, 
circuit design or programming, so he now prepares arts and crafts. But you 
don't need an ME B.Sc. for that.


	Shlomi Fish

> --guy

Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

Chuck Norris wrote a complete Perl 6 implementation in a day but then
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