University of Maryland Freshman Year

by Benjamin Salzberg

Posted on May 24, 2018


Freshman Year at The University of Maryland as a Computer Science Major

A list of all my classes during my freshman year.

Fall 2017

Spring 2018

CMSC 132 Object Oriented Programming part 2

This class was one of my favorites. It is the second part of the object oriented curriculum, where we went into data structures such as heaps, maps, and linked lists. we even made our own singly linked lists. the class also covered more advanced topics such as efficiency and threading.

CPSG 100 Scholars: Science and Global Change

This was the first of the colloquiums in my scholars program. The topic of this program is the changing of the world, and how Global climate change is occuring. However, this first semester's class was mostly discussion of the scientific method, the hypothetico-deductive method. we also covered some basic geology.

ENGL 101 Academic Writing

English 101 was a fairly relaxing class compared to several others. I had to write several essays, and due to prior experience found them not that difficult to write. I also enjoyed this class because the teacher was kind, and had us look at each others essays to proof read them.

ECON 111 Thinking Like an Economist

This was an interesting class. It was an economics class that did not have equations, rather it was about using common sense for economics. we explored interesting economics problems, like the monty hall problem. I enjoyed the class because it made me think about economics differently.

MATH 141 Calculus II

This was the most difficult course I took all semester. Calculus 2 is a large step up from Calculus 1 because it contains so much more. It has trigonometric identities, sequences and series, imaginary numbers as graphs, and taylor polynomials and expansions. Although I learned a great deal from this, I did not enjoy the class because so much had to be taught in such a short period of time.

CMSC 216 Introduction to Computer Systems

This was an interesting class, though I enjoyed it, I feel as though it contained too much. Included in the curriculum was Unix, C, Emacs, AVR Assembly, Processes and Shells, and Threading in C. Most people use DOS based systems like Windows, those who use Mac, an Unix system, often use the gui, we were sshing into a Linux server, which was vastly different from what most people had done. C is also vastly different than any language I have worked with before. It is not object oriented, and it contains pointers, which are new to me. I found it interesting and enjoyed learning it. There was also learning how to use Emacs, sadly we did not cover M-x butterfly. Like C, AVR Assembly was different. It was a new experience for me, learning to tell the computer exactly what to do, manipulating memory in registers, and ensuring the carry bit was accounted for. Processes and threads are also similar, but they were interesting to learn about.

CMSC 250 Discrete Structures

This course has an interesting premise, it is looking at math using logic. We used a great deal of proofs, both direct and indirect, we used induction, several different types, and we used logic gates to design and learn about binary adders. Even though I learned a great deal, I found the class difficult both because of the chaos in the classroom, and difficulty grasping a few of the concepts.

CPSG 101 Scholars: Science and Global Change

This was the second of the colloquiums in my scholars program. This second semester covered the changing of the world and how climate change works. we also covered the causes of climate change.

RELS 219 Religions of the Ancient Near-East

This course was interesting for me, I learned about religoins in Babylon, Akkadia, and other ancient civilizations in the middle east. We read the epic of Gilgamesh, the Ba'lu Myth cycle, Atrahasis, and several other ancient texts of note.

STAT 400 Applied Probability and Statistics

This was introduction sto statistics for mathematicians and engineers, not the business version which is why it is a 400 level course. I did not enjoy this course much, the lecturer did not do a very good job with lectures, the discussion sections were not very helpful. however, the textbook and online resources made everything more easily understandable.

Final Thoughts

My first year at the University of Maryland was interesting, I made several friends this year, gained a great deal of expereince with living on my own. I enjoyed the year overall, even though I probably procrastinated overly much.