an attempt to demystify engsci

Hello! and welcome back to blog post number two B)

I’m Amanda ^^, a Part II Engsci who is really just trying to make it out of this degree alive. I’ll be giving tips and tricks and little bits of knowledge i’ve gained throughout my whole one and a half years at UOA, hopefully to help you choose Engsci a really cool specialisation next year >:)

what is engsci ?

You may have possibly heard of *+:。.。artificial intelligence。.。:+*. Well, I’m here to tell you that you could also make the next ChatGPT! Okay, well maybe not directly while doing a BE in Engineering Science- however, we do set you up with the basic knowledge and skills to do so 😉

Engscis do a lot of data analysis (so basically getting lots of information and making things based on that information), which is crucial to machine learning- and AI. Plus, since the increasing popularity of artificial intelligence, you really can only expect this field to grow and develop, which is great if you’re worried about job availability. Additionally, data analytics is crucial to any company, big or small- statistics are core to growing any kind of company.

Okay, hype aside, Engineering Science truly does deal with a lot of statistics. This may sound scary, but when I say statistics, I mean taking raw data, processing it and analysing the results. From here, you can show what the past and future holds and determine what the best course of action is (<-optimization!).

I used data to determine the best flavours for maximum profit!

If statistics and data analytics is not your thing, do not worry. Engsci is so broad, it’s really only a small section of what you can be capable of. I just like talking about data analysis because: 1. That is what we are doing now and 2. It’s my favourite ‘section’ of Engsci.

Through electives you can branch off into doing:

  • Mechanical papers- imagine fluid dynamics
  • Modelling the environment
  • Optimisation, data science and statistics
  • Logic and programming
  • Even more math!
  • Programming
  • Electrical- if you really like ELECTENG101

Of course, you are never limited to these options, but take them as a spoiler for what you can kind of specialise (even more!) in, under an Engineering Science degree. Honestly, this degree has unlimited possibilities- the world is your oyster 😀

PSA: Just because you want to focus on a certain pathway in Engsci doesn’t mean you’re chained to it- you can always mix and match electives! Engsci is truly unique in that sense, because we are given the freedom to pursue our own interests, all under the same specialisation.

what do we do?

We do a lot of coding and math.

But, if you want to make it sound really cool and hip: “Use of mathematical models and advanced computing to simulate real-world processes, systems and solutions to solve the complex problems posed by industry and society.” -University of Auckland Website

So yea, basically lots of mathematical modelling- a term used a lot in ENGSCI111 and programming. As boring as that sounds, appearances are misleading and personally I think that Engsci is super fun and interesting (<- not sarcastic). Although the coding labs are really something else, to be able to apply your learning to real world problems (even in Part II) is very fulfilling. We also learn how to optimize (anything, really) using computers and lots of calculations. Each core course also dabbles in a bit of everything, so you really get to learn a bit of all the specializations out there.

Frankly, as a Part II student, I have much more to learn about what Engsci has to offer, so I cannot give a complete overview of the course; but I can tell you that I am thoroughly enjoying Engsci despite the boring-ness of it all.

how do i know if this is the specialisation for me?

If I’m being completely honest, you will never be completely sure that any spec is right for you until you actually do it. However, because of the fabulous way that UOA has structured Part I, the first year courses are a pretty good indication of what each specialisation has to offer.

In the case of Engineering Science, interest in ENGSCI111 and ENGGEN131 is characteristic of most of the cohort.

“Oh no but my coding skills are so bad!”


Listen, if you have finished the entirety of semester two and feel like coding is not for you then that’s fine. You may probably be better off in a coding-less specialisation.

When Asian Parents Make You Learn a Musical Instrument... - YouTube
Brett and Eddy’s wise words – practice does make perfect 😛

However, if not then heed my words; coding isn’t that bad. Sure its a massive leap for people who have never touched coding before in their life (I was people), but at the end of the day, the concepts are all that you really need to understand. Syntax (basically the kind of words you write for each language) will change depending on the language and it’s okay to not know the syntax of a language you just started learning. It is also perfectly okay to feel like you are struggling or nothing is going right and there are multiple bugs in your code and nothing is compiling- but hey, that’s what your labs are for. And after all that struggle, you will get it working, and you will get better, I promise.

Anyway, point is, that Engineering Science is very math and coding intensive. And don’t rule out the specialisation if you think you suck at coding and/or you have just started to learn. Plus, to master something, you have to be bad at it first.

That will be the end of this post! Thank you so much for reading and I hope my rambles do help in any way, shape or form. If you have any further questions please ask! I will always be happy to explain more, or just have a wee chat.

go forth and slay

amanda <3

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