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In the introductory Computer Science courses at Tufts, we learn the C++ programming language. One of the most common gripes about these fairly challenging (from a newbie perspective) classes is that we learn a language that is not “useful”. If we learned Javascript or Python, for instance, we could immediately apply it to web programming, which is the most flashy and exciting form of programming that Millenials encounter. We can build a website! We can sell something interesting! I’m gonna be the next Mark Zuckerberg!

There is something to be said for learning a language that is used in a high-level context or for more complex computational problems than the previously mentioned languages. C++ is certainly used in the Tech industry, although maybe not in the domains that have the most glamour and glitz. We are learning something robust, something with depth; a language which will allow for increased complexity and be able to handle it with ease.

c++

A comparison can be made to the more natural language for many of us– English. There is a form of English that we can text with, that we write emails with or take notes with, but this can be considered the everyday, common language. If we tried to take on the challenges of critical analysis with this same level and variety of language, it would certainly be a difficult task. In the same way, there is utility, especially in higher education, to start with something fairly opaque and allow students to explore surrounding topics of interest once the intimidation factor has receded.

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Hey! I'm a 19-year-old student at Tufts University where I am majoring in Math. I'm from Upstate New York and was the only Hindu in my small-town public school. I love artichokes and eyeliner and lifehacking. I have a ton of interests, but most of them fall under the umbrellas of Education/Learning, Media/Entertainment, Mathematics, Design, or Technology. I have been inseparable from my laptop(s) since I was a xanga-layout-making, neopoint-hoarding 12-year-old.

Posted in STEM

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