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#1 ipoood  Icon User is offline

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Should I minor in Math?

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

I am a computer science major wanting to go into programming (Game or mobile development. Haven't really decided yet but somewhere along those lines). I've heard that you need quite a bit of math knowledge when it comes to programming. I was just wondering if I should take a minor in mathematics? Would it help in the long run?
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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:55 PM

I don't know if it will help or hinder any more in the long run, but it seems most comp sci programs are typically four or so classes away from a math minor anyways.. so if you want a bit of extra fun - sure.. if not go minor in something else that interests you.
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#3 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

I would because I love math.

Oh and refer to my signature...
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:07 AM

Math helps develop your ability to problem solve. Some math courses pertain to CS quite well. Others don't. If you want a CS focus, pick classes like Number Theory, Cryptography, Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Discrete Math if they aren't already required. Abstract Algebra is a good course to get you thinking at a low-level about how a lot of math systems work. You get into the nitty-gritty of closure, defining operations like addition, etc. Analysis is also a good field to really get you thinking in a very different way.
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#5 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:22 AM

I have absolutely no formal background in math, but I've found that almost everything I want to know about programming gets back to math in some way - and I love it. I've been dabbling at number theory, set theory, and so forth, and it's a blast.

For your question, this cuts both ways: yes, learning more math is directly related to what you're doing as a programmer and so maybe it makes sense to dive into those questions more deeply. On the other hand, if some layabout accordion player with a BA in linguistics can find his way into these problems with a bunch of cheap Dover reprints and gallons and gallons of coffee, maybe that's another way to get what you need, without doing a formal major in the subject.


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Math helps develop your ability to problem solve


But not apparently your ability to English write. :)
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#6 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:50 PM

A minor in math on top of a CS degree is at most an extra semester.

Do it now while you have the opportunity.

But don't be like me and go for a full physics second major... :helpsmilie:
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#7 IngeniousHax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:00 PM

As most have said, it would help. But it does depend on the type of programming you want to do (atleast in my opinion). Game programming requires a lot of physics and linear algebra, general application programming doesn't seem to need it as much, such that you're not doing complex stuff. Algorithms (which is probably required) is a must have, and if there is a course that delves a bit deeper into algorithms, like Algorithms II, or something, take it.

I know at my University, you end up taking enough math by proxy of the major that you end up being two courses from a minor which can be easily fit into a schedule. If you start at a Community college, get an Associates in Mathematics and that will put you right about at a minor for the university level.

For my A.S. in Math, I needed the following courses: Physics I & II, Calc I, II, III, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra. So at my university I only need one more math class to finish my minor. Been thinking about what course to take that will be most beneficial to CSE. Probably Numerical Methods since it counts for both CSE and Math.
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#8 jjl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:42 AM

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For my A.S. in Math, I needed the following courses: Physics I & II, Calc I, II, III, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra. So at my university I only need one more math class to finish my minor.

Really? one class? At my university there is a never ending list of math classes I have to take for a minor: methods of proof, real analysis, linear II, partial diffy Q, Complex I & II, ect.. the list continues.

This post has been edited by jjl: 12 March 2013 - 12:42 AM

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#9 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:10 PM

That really sounds like a second major rather than a minor. Your case sounds like an extreme case to me.
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#10 IngeniousHax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:08 PM

Yeah, that definitely sounds like a double major scenario.

If I were to double major (not minor) in mathematics, I would need a LOT of classes. Right around the same type of classes you mentioned jjl
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#11 jjl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:42 PM

Quote

That really sounds like a second major rather than a minor. Your case sounds like an extreme case to me.

No it's for a minor; however, my school is on the quarter system.
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#12 IngeniousHax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 02 April 2013 - 04:12 PM

Interesting. That's a lot of courses for a minor.
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#13 raspinudo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I minor in Math?

Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:47 AM

View PostIngeniousHax, on 10 March 2013 - 11:00 PM, said:

As most have said, it would help. But it does depend on the type of programming you want to do (atleast in my opinion). Game programming requires a lot of physics and linear algebra, general application programming doesn't seem to need it as much, such that you're not doing complex stuff. Algorithms (which is probably required) is a must have, and if there is a course that delves a bit deeper into algorithms, like Algorithms II, or something, take it.

I know at my University, you end up taking enough math by proxy of the major that you end up being two courses from a minor which can be easily fit into a schedule. If you start at a Community college, get an Associates in Mathematics and that will put you right about at a minor for the university level.

For my A.S. in Math, I needed the following courses: Physics I & II, Calc I, II, III, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra. So at my university I only need one more math class to finish my minor. Been thinking about what course to take that will be most beneficial to CSE. Probably Numerical Methods since it counts for both CSE and Math.


This.

If you want to go into games programming or scientific research, above average mathematical knowledge seems
to be a requirement (at least from the job postings I've seen). I have a bit of a bias, being a math
major, but I will say that the extra classes can only benefit you.
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