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What do you think about the Academia?

category: offtopic [glöplog]
My main objective when I was trying get back into the university was to get more contacts. And I think that the only systematic thing I need here is the bibliography.
added on the 2011-04-15 01:17:25 by Danguafer Danguafer
It's better to be self smart than college smart.
thom <3
I was thinking abouting writing some smallish essay about how the educational system developed since the dark ages..then I heard this: New Jack Hustler :D
added on the 2011-04-15 03:38:23 by xyz xyz
added on the 2011-04-15 03:43:29 by xyz xyz
so if i sit on maali for a long-ish time, he might actually turn into smth we can sell for profit?

Get out of the way skinny man, I'm much fatter than you.
added on the 2011-04-15 07:44:51 by ringofyre ringofyre
Universities always seemed awesome to me, if you're made for them. I wasn't - never managed to finish even senior highschool. Would've loved to be able to fully indulge myself in a subject of my choosing though.

As for computer science, most of the really good programmers seem to remain as researchers. During my five years as a professional programmer I have had zero problems keeping up with my colleagues with degrees, and I know and have worked with several other professional programmers with little formal education. Having a degree is a great way to get you your first job(s), but after a few years real world experience tends to weigh much more - at least that's my (limited) experience of how the business works.
added on the 2011-04-15 07:58:26 by Radiant Radiant
If all you want to be for the rest of your life is a programmer then university is probably a waste of time for you.
added on the 2011-04-15 11:38:39 by imbusy imbusy
radiantx: well, assuming you keep up with the increased pressure on exams/deadlines then university is often more sane than highschool.

I guess most has been said really, there is alot of idiots just crusing through university and due to this many sane places values someone who's been doing good projects for a few years more than some paper. Now if you wanna go work at consulting firm X with posh offices and suits then a degree will probably be a good idea. But if you prefer to write good code,etc then it's nothing that will really improve your life.
added on the 2011-04-15 11:59:55 by whizzter whizzter
On learning.. i do belive that you do have the chance to get a more solid foundation in many areas (depending on your teachers), especially maths and some theoretical stuff.

For me.. i'm actually right now back and finishing off some last courses so that i can get my degree.
added on the 2011-04-15 12:02:10 by whizzter whizzter
well, i have done a phd in computer science (algorithms). the topics were interesting, but somehow the unwritten laws are the same as in the industry (where i work now): you have to sell your stuff well and you have to cope with the egos of people who are above you in the hierarchy. i do not regret i have done it, but i also did not enjoy it.
added on the 2011-04-15 19:41:58 by rac rac
@rac: Really, that's life - people are like this, and as long as you do not lose yourself, having the ability to involve other people in the excitement that you have for your field is sometimes a necessity for what you are doing. Unless you're already in a company who has other people taking care of that for you, you better learn it.

You had an oppurtunity to grow, because you were challenged. Maybe it was more important to you to stand your ground and principlies by being perfectly rational about it. But if you really believed that you knew better, why did you have to convince them by being rational? Why not just convince them and then carry on with this thing because you knew it was the best? Was it to be fair? If it was, and you thought the other guys were better than you, then why didn't you try to come up with something better instead of trying to oversell a low-value product?
I have really fond memories of university, from the first year up to the Theoretical Physics MSc graduation. Most teachers were brilliant and the courses were really interesting.

But I did not manage to get excited by the few CS classes the uni offered, probably because of the I-already-know-that-stuff-or-at-least-I-think-I-do effect which certainly biased my perception a lot :)

Skrebbel: "everything is what you make of it" fits university perfectly indeed :)
added on the 2011-04-16 06:05:39 by keops keops
and of course, I realized a few years later that it actually wouldn't have hurt to have followed one or two of those CS classes :D
added on the 2011-04-16 06:10:07 by keops keops
...you have to sell your stuff well and you have to cope with the egos of people who are above you in the hierarchy. i do not regret i have done it, but i also did not enjoy it.

I agree.
added on the 2011-04-16 09:56:36 by trc_wm trc_wm
@trc_wm: But really, isn't it like that everywhere?
Rac pretty much sums it up perfectly, only you don't even get paid properly for all that...
added on the 2011-04-16 12:12:35 by chromag chromag
@Lord Graga: thanks for your comment; however, perhaps there is some misunderstanding about my point. i did beither want to say that i somehow "knew things better" and authorities ignored me or the like, nor did i want to say that i was forced to oversell some low-value product. my point was just that in the academic world, the same mechanics as everywhere else are in effect - altough many people believe this to be different.

in fact, i quite had the "opportunity to grow" which also is a good aspect.
added on the 2011-04-16 12:28:41 by rac rac
my personal experience is that people with master degrees or higher are faster at coping with different tasks whereas self-educated or people with lower degrees tend to stick to "what they are good at" and remain in that zone.

this is a generalisation of the worst kind, however it fits my current and past work places quite well.
@rac: Ah, so you had expected either a more honest/rational environment, or more honesty? I understand you better now.

We had a job fair at my uni this week (and I won an Xbox 360 from Microsoft!). One thing that striked me again and again was how willing the companies here are to post-educate their programmers, for example with .Net certification. In a way I'm looking forward to that when I come out on the other side.
When I try to talk about some personal projects, most of my teachers lack interests, even if they are related with the themes. And I was constantly discouraged (directly or indirectly).

I got some discussions with my friends and we came to a conclusion that the academia is distancing itself from the scientific ideal. By talking about it, I want to say that there are so many other places producing pure science, without the political bullshit. By my poor analysis, I'd say that CG, for example, is advancing mainly outside the academia.
added on the 2011-04-16 17:10:10 by Danguafer Danguafer
graga: without wanting to sound too negative, but my company also tells everyone how much they want to post-educate their "most important resource". actually I work there for more than 3 years now and only got one course. and they just payed the fee for the trainer, I had to do it in my spare time.
but that's probably like that nearly everywhere, except for the bigger companies (>= 500 employees).
but nevertheless, having a "real" job rocks.

to stay on topic in general: having studied was great. it tought me shitloads of stuff (more "soft" stuff and concepts, the technical parts you usually learn on job) you usually don't get on other ways (totally agree with rasmus here).
doing a PhD is more or less useless IMVHO, at least in computer science. it's not useless if you WANT to do it or if you want to do a career in academia, but I believe you learn alot more relevant stuff when you start working after university. so, doing a PhD for monetary reasons or because you want to enjoy university life just a few years longer (the two most dominating reasons among my friends) is plain bullshit.
added on the 2011-04-16 17:23:21 by styx^hcr styx^hcr
Just to say, responding to the original question, that Universities here in India are SHIT - they are rote learning awful places, which know *exactly* how to take away the joy of learning anything.
There's even been a movie about it, 3 Idiots, a movie that I consider ground breaking and probably the best Hindi movie I've seen - not that I want to advocate piracy, but if sceners in any country around the world want to see this movie, I'd point them to download and watch it :)
@bitnaughty: by the description you make, it sounds like French universities!!!
added on the 2011-04-16 20:06:03 by RetroVM RetroVM
@e64: I should be clearer. Its not having a phD that motivates me. I dont need one. Its having a shit load of (brain awake) time to study something that interests me and a phD would simply provide focus. After 20 years working full time, I'd love to have energy and time to do something more academic...shame I didnt become independently wealthy in those wasted 20 years.
added on the 2011-04-16 20:47:18 by auld auld
i am by nature a self-teacher person. that's how i learnt electronics, music, programming, and computer graphics. i do a living and will devote my life to those things i have learnt and discovered by myself.

however selfteaching is the lazy way to learn - you tend to learn only those things that happen to be naturally understandable to you, or things that you tend to like or find profitable. so, basically you are stuck in a bubble of yourselfness, when you selfteach. you just expand your own person, but never open to a transforming to a new you (intellectualy speacking).

also there is some danger of hard disappointment when you go your own way and reject the help of academia (cause, yep, they are there to help you grow): after many years, you will realize that despite all the merit and romanticism of having done it all by yourself, you could have done the same progress in no more than a couple of years of university. isn't it a pity it took you 12 years to do the same? besides, you would have been forced to learn things you are not naturally inclined to think about, or things, let's be honest, that you would never ever even smell existed.

i am so happy to have gone to university, it really opened my mind to so many topics.

now, i know, the education system and teachers can be really bad. is it an excuse to reject academic education? i say no. boy, the world/society is badly designed, unoptimal, infair, so what. here we are nevertheless making cool stuff and demos and crap. it's all about yourself getting the best of what's around you, and so happens with the university. don't expect the system/university to provide you with the intellectual happiness you seek. it has piftalls, it's annoying, but you have to get what you need from it and workaround the rest. just like in life. nobody designed it for you. just like real life. so, go there, let them expose you to the ideas/concepts you would need decades to know about, build you own education from it, and abstract yourself from the rest, cause all the annoying in the system things are just an artifact of the process.

all this to say that, yep, i am much in favor of academia, and i am so glad i went through it - i wouldn't be half of what i am able to know or envision if i wasn't have gone there. i think.
added on the 2011-04-16 23:36:34 by iq iq


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