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Programming Pre-requisite

Hello Quantnet community,

In answering this question keep in mind that I know very little about computer science or programming languages, my backround is in math and economics. I noticed that the Baruch MFE program specifically mentions that knowledge of C++ is required. Most other programs just mention that basic programming skills or the equivalent of intro to computer science are necessary. According to Boston University's undergraduate bulletin (my school) the programming language used in Introduction to Computer Science 1 is Java. When I looked up Java on wikipedia it said "The language derives much of its syntax from C and C++ but has a simpler object model and fewer low-level facilities." By taking this course would I be fulfilling Baruch's pre-requisites? Or do I need to take higher level computer science courses to actually learn C++?
Hi Syed,
Welcome to Quantnet Community !
Baruch MFE is very specific about the programming requirement because C++ is used extensively throughout the program. Other programs do not specify because they may use matlab/excel/vba/C++/java for the student projects.
When do you graduate and plan to apply to MFE ? If possible, take at least 2 courses in C++. If Java is the only language taught at BU, then take as much as you can and self study C++ on the side.
I know some of our students have a background in Java programming. After you learn first language, getting used to a new one is much easier. Make sure you do well in Java classes and spend lot of time doing C++ excercises.
If you get admitted into our program, you will have a chance to take the C++ refresher where you spend one long month working on C++ projects.
That said, the better you are at C++, the much easier it is to survive our program. I do not know about other programs but in ours, you spend majority of your time learning about math, finance and build applications that are used in the industry. Getting a good handle on C++ will make your study very enjoyable.
For your reference, in the first semester, we wrote about 5000-1000 lines of code in one course. And that course is not C++ :)

I hope you see why we stress very much the importance of our student being able to handle complex financial programming applications.
Best of luck.
thanks Andy for the quick response. I will graduate from BU in May 2008 and I am considering applying for the Baruch MFE program for the Fall of 2008.