Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

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#1 Codebug  Icon User is offline

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Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:49 PM

Like the title says guys. Do you believe that all good programmers are mathematically inclined and/or have a better problem solving ability than most? I know it's a random question. It just seems to me that most, if not all of you guys here that have helped me, are very good at seeing relationships in the code and the problem at hand. I'm just wondering if this is due to a mathematical aptitude or due to alot of experience programming and solving programming problems.

This post has been edited by Codebug: 04 April 2010 - 07:50 PM


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#2 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:50 PM

Moved to the cube.
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#3 xor-logic  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:58 PM

Less important than excelling in problem-solving is, I think, the peculiarity of being absolutely unwilling to let a problem go until you have solved it.
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 04 April 2010 - 08:05 PM

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Many programmers are mathematically inclined, as programming and CS have foundations in mathematics. In addition, many of the problems we solve or the solutions we implement utilize mathematical structures and algorithms. For example, in game programming, we use a lot of math and physics to implement solutions. I've actually written a couple tutorials on this, called Putting Math into the Context of Game Programming, which are both Calculus-based. However, not all programming fields require strong mathematical skills. Business applications, for example, usually require Algebra I, maybe Algebra II level math.

For me, combining mathematics and computer science furthers my knowledge of both more than either one alone. So to answer your question, it works both ways.
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#5 Galois  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 04 April 2010 - 09:04 PM

Depends on what's your definition of a good programmer. If it is a problem solver who can write original code, then yes, such person must be mathematically inclined. If it is somebody who can see a syntactical error, find bugs, help out with a simple homework assignment, write yet another database application, or blindly plug mathematical formulas because it says so in a textbook, then no, such person need not be good at math.

This post has been edited by Galois: 04 April 2010 - 09:10 PM

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#6 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 04 April 2010 - 09:08 PM

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As far as me I'm the odd case out from most local programmers but it has yet to deter me. Unlike most I'm rather artistically and aesthetically inclined, I see code more as a poetry of sorts. Admittedly I've received numerous comments on my peculiar style of coding but a vast majority have been more to the effect of praise for innovation and new outlooks on old methods. When I look at programming I see art, flow, creation whereas a typical programmer may see formulae, structure, and logic.

To each his own I do suppose though up to now it's yet to affect my learning curve and if anything has sped it dramatically.

Past the general types of Artistic vs Mathematical there are those who are considered to be follow-along and those that seem to jump at every new idea like a kid in a candy shop. I'm the latter by far, and on occasion it has caused me a bit of trouble with staying on subject in the here and now but the wonder I get when learning a new concept is almost as a drug to me.

I believe that the only thing necessary to programming is to love learning new things, to never stop, to always be hungry and seek the things outside your current reach.
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#7 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:13 AM

I'm not mathematically inclined. I like to think I'm linguistically inclined, but that's just a sloppy sort of logic, and that, in itself, is a sloppy sort of math.
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#8 SeamlessJack  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:28 AM

Programming is a lot like math, in that you have to follow certain rules and such to solve problems, but programming is a lot more in depth and applicable than general mathematics. In short, I do think that programmers are mathematically inclined, since the two fields are so similar.
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#9 Galois  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:12 AM

View PostSeamlessJack, on 05 April 2010 - 07:28 AM, said:

programming is a lot more in depth and applicable than general mathematics.

lol
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#10 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:18 AM

Being a good (which is a relative term actually) programmer does require some level of mathematical ability so while it's not necessarily true that all are, the vast majority I know personally are.

I do believe excellent problem solving skills are essential to become a good programmer. If a persona cannot solve complex issues how can they create software at a higher level (not sure if higher is the right word in this case)
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#11 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:56 AM

No. I'm probably mathematically dyslexic. I survived calc but I didn't enjoy it.

The only math I ever truly enjoyed in high school, and got top marks in, was geometry. Strangely, a classic geometric proof is a lot like writing a simple computer program. Go figure.

Raw programming is a logic game; no real deep math involved. While there are areas that require higher math ( all my linear algebra is self taught, required for graphics transformations ), the fundamentals for writing code aren't mathematically intensive. The real math geeks enjoy functional programming. The more common procedural programming is just moving junk around in a given order. Those with a knack for perceiving that order enjoy programming.

Conversely, many mathematicians are hopeless programmers.
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#12 GenHornet18  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:03 AM

I don't consider myself great with math but I have a strong sense of logic, which I feel is more important. Math is based on the most logical operation (most of the time) but it doesn't mean it's easy to understand. I nearly failed Functions yet I destroyed Calculus, different types of math, different results. Mind you to get your degree/diploma you going to need at least a fair understanding of math concepts.
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#13 Galois  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:09 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 05 April 2010 - 08:56 AM, said:

The real math geeks enjoy functional programming.

And the "I want people to think I'm different, though I'm really not" programmers. It is interesting to read the theory behind what makes functional programming work though.
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#14 Ghlavac  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 06 April 2010 - 12:33 AM

I despise math; yet I'm pretty decent at the very least at programming, once in a while I have to do a bit of looking up things for an algorithm or two but I still do decent either way.
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#15 Yakyb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are all good programmers mathematically inclined?

Posted 06 April 2010 - 03:35 AM

it probably varies dependent on what field you programming for i can imagine the guys over at mathmatica are probably better than most at maths </understatement>, where as someone whom designs web forms day in day out probably isnt

in general yes i would say that most are however
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