# Talk:BE.180

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Revision as of 18:48, 11 October 2005 by Reshma P. Shetty (talk | contribs)

Out of curiousity, what is the difference between BE.180 (BE Programming) and BE.181 (BE Computation)? I think that precisely where you draw that line might determine the topics that you want to cover in the class. -Jkm 12:32, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)

- BE.181 and BE.180 arose out of a discussion that occurred at the BE Division retreat in 2004. Linda Griffith presented the proposed undergraduate curriculum for the new BE major. Upon review of the curriculum, many graduate students felt that it was lacking in two primary areas: math and computer science. It wasn't clear that 1) BE majors would emerge from the program with the strong set of mathematical skills expected of MIT engineers and 2) that BE majors would be at all acquainted with some of the fundamental concepts in computer science (or even electrical engineering). Thus, BE.181 and BE.180 were proposed to remedy these two holes in the curriculum (at least in part). The challenge of both courses is to present the material in the context of biology. A secondary (or even tertiary) goal of BE.180 was that students learn how to program simply because it is a useful skill to have. --Reshma 10:01, 11 Oct 2005 (EDT)

- So I'm still not sure what the difference is between 180 and 181 - 'Programming' vs. 'Computation'. Is there a difference in intent, or is it just a 12 unit class split between two semesters? -Jkm 20:44, 11 Oct 2005 (EDT)

- BE.180 = emphasis on computer science. BE.181 = emphasis on math. But that was as of the BE retreat. Drew may have other plans. --Reshma 22:48, 11 Oct 2005 (EDT)

A second comment - according to the BE website, this is supposed to be a 6 unit class. I'd encourage you to keep that in mind when designing the class - a lot of short (6->9 unit) classes become longer classes, and the students resent it. Six units means 2 hours of lecture a week and 4 hours of homework - that's very little time. -Jkm 12:36, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)