Useful Georgia Tech CS Classes

While I may have graduated, many people I know have not done so yet, and ask me what classes I found the most useful. Here’s a short list for anyone looking to take something meaningful.

User Interface Design

By far the most useful CS class at Tech, at least when taught by Melody Moore Jackson. I learned a lot of “best practices” in this class, but Melody also explained *why* certain things work and others do not.
Book: Design of Everyday Things (Amazon Referral Link)

Design & Analysis of Algorithms (cs 3510)

This was certainly not an easy class, but nearly every job interview for a Computer Science (and usually ECE) position touches upon a subject covered in this curriculum. I scraped by with a C, but felt fairly confident with the material. If I find myself in desperate need of a graph algorithm, I understand them and own a textbook that explains it.

Video Game Design

While some may be surprised to see this on the list, I can attest that both Jeff Wilson and Maribeth Gandy are excellent teachers that truly know the subject. As with many of this list, they combine theory and practice well, although I have few kind words for the game engine they used (C4). Because of the engine’s license, we were not allowed to share the final product on the ‘net. I don’t think I have a copy of the game, anyways. I’m more proud of our “prototype” which I wrote in XNA in a couple hours.

Software Practicum (cs 2335)

I took this class the semester before the last time it was offered. It was required on the pre-threads curriculum and merely an elective on threads. The trick was, the class was taught in C# and introduced me to relatively new technologies WPF and WCF and some practical uses thereof. For someone that uses C# in their day job, I was genuinely surprised to learn something from the class, but I actually feel it was of the more valuable classes I’ve taken. You can certainly learn the technologies Dr. Waters covered on your own, but his teaching style really worked for that class. One of the projects for that class was turned into its own blog post, WPF Issue Tracker.

Andrew Guyton



I went through my old school stuff and I’m going to add a few classes to your list:
* Introduction to Computer Engineering (ECE 2030) – This was further study on logic units.
* Introduction to Databases (CS 4400) – I never knew what a database was until I took this class. This class teaches you how to write query statements and how to design a database.
* Objects and Design (CS 2340) – this class gave me two useful things. First, is an understanding of the project methodologies used today in work environments (including UML and other diagrams). Second, is a love for functional IDE. Though, I think this class is no longer available.
* Introduction to Information Visualization (CS 4460) – This class is very useful in understanding that how you present your information is important. Goes into detail about different types of charts and graphs.

Andrew Guyton

Out of those I suppose the most useful IMO was CS2340, Objects and Design. I’d just been programming so much at my co-op job that it didn’t contain any new information for me. I didn’t take CS4460, so I can’t comment on that one, but it sounds like a fun class.

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