A comment from a CS major:

CS 134 is definitely necessary to do well (and possibly even enroll) in 136, unless students have received a score of 5 on the computer science AP.

The CS AP is not very rigorous, but it’s more about having had the opportunity to work with code a little bit before you jump into 136. A lot of students do poorly in 134 or end up pass-failing it as it is; I definitely wouldn’t recommend anyone without programming experience try to jump straight in to 136 (it’s true that you don’t get much actual theory until 136, but I still think 134 is valuable).

I would also add that, because the CS department is very understaffed (CS profs teach the most student-hours of any dept; almost 4 times more than the lowest department) it’s pretty much impossible to get into 134 or 136 after freshman year. Sadly, space is so limited that only students who seem likely to major can usually get a seat.

1) Thanks for the comment! Do any CS majors disagree with the above?

2) Is it really true that sophomores/juniors/seniors can’t get in to CS 134/136? That would be absurd! I had not heard that things were this bad . . .

3) The Provost Office claims that other departments — Chemistry, at least, but also, I think, Statistics — teach more students per professor than Computer Science.

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