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Discrete Math- Best Class Ever

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There are really some advantages to taking Discrete Math in high school, especially when it's taught well. It's awesome to have the entire year to explore the topics more thoroughly, especially considering that Discrete is a survey course. This year, Discrete Math is my most programming-heavy/computer-science course, at least- as much as I want it to be. My teacher is one who appreciates programming implementations, as well as mathematical solutions. He has emphasized that in this class, code is a legitimate answer. The implication of this being that I am allowed to open up my laptop and write code on assessments and turn it into him.

So far, we've covered logic and combinatorics. While there aren't many problems to write code for in logic, combinatorics has been fun, especially if you like recursive backtracking algorithms. Number theory is up next, where we'll hit on Hashing and Cryptography, specifically RSA encryption, which will be a lot of fun, and have more programming applications, like exploring Maps and Sets, as well as implementing cryptographic solutions. I'm especially looking forward to hitting on Graph Theory, Computational Complexity Theory, Regular Expressions (which I've been meaning to spend more time on), Solving Recurrences, Parsing Grammars, and Natural Languages. It's different than I expected, as I was really expecting more of a computer science type class, and this has been more mathematical. Probably a little naieve given that the name of the course is Discrete Math, but it's still a lot of fun nonetheless.

10 Comments On This Entry

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Dogstopper Icon

06 November 2010 - 07:21 PM
Make sure to write tutorials as you go! Some of those aren't necessarily strong suits of mine and I'd love to learn firsthand before I head to college as well.
1

bcranger Icon

06 November 2010 - 07:51 PM
Sounds very interesting :)
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NickDMax Icon

10 November 2010 - 07:14 PM
I am a big fan of Linear Algebra myself but Discrete Math is definitely a fun course for programmers. My favorite section was always the rushed bit of Graph Theory the pack in there towards the end.
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KYA Icon

12 November 2010 - 09:32 AM
Trippy. For a minute I thought I wrote this.
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macosxnerd101 Icon

16 November 2010 - 07:39 PM
@NickDMax: I think we get Graph Theory next quarter, but we spend a fair amount of time on it. That's definitely my favorite part of Discrete as well!
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spawn8214 Icon

22 November 2010 - 03:20 PM
I honestly wish we had Discrete Math in my high school. My first taste of it is in college so far and I find it awful lol (I am an applied mathematician, not a theoretical mathematician) and it seems like my teacher loves to make stuff up to make her proof right. For example, our definition of an odd integer means it's 2n+1 and she boiled a proof down to 2n-1. She said we needed 2n+1 because that was our definition for odd, so she just made it 2n-1+1-1 and was like "there you go, we have the +1 now so it works, we proved it" lol. Just a whole different way of thinking I guess haha.
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macosxnerd101 Icon

22 November 2010 - 06:46 PM
It is different. The trend in my class seems to be people either really get it or they just don't, and grades tend to reflect. There are a lot of A's and D's/F's, but not a ton of low-B's and C's.
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ishkabible Icon

15 December 2010 - 08:13 PM
see im in a little school in Kansas where there are literally no CS classes and the highest level math course is Cal 1. when i transferred in they didn't except my geometry or pre-calc credit so i had to retake both. I'm retaking pre-calc right now(i took in in 1 semester i'm now taking in 2 semesters), but i should be in Cal 1. i wish i had those better options :(
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bravo659 Icon

08 January 2011 - 08:36 AM
Hi macosxnerd101,
I also had Discrete Math in college and this is a good course to be introduced in high school to get their feet wet if they are majoring in computer science in college or of a similar course. The application in algorithm is fun and the combinatorics, permutation and recursive algorithm were my favorite. But the professor i had didn't know how to teach the class. I had to research endlessly in order to try to keep up in class. This course is nice if the right professor that know how to teach you can ace it.
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Simown Icon

15 January 2011 - 04:16 PM
I have been studying discrete maths all week, well for 2 weeks (kinda :P) and I love it, it is the best class we have to, I really enjoy it. We also have "Introduction to Java" which I thought would be my favourite, but this is surely the best.
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