20 Replies  3984 Views  Last Post: 13 January 2009  09:06 PM
#1
Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  10:27 AM
I don't know if it's because I'm lazy or if genetics is playing a part in this, but all I know is that I don't do very well in math. My last math course, I barely got an 80 average.
I looked up the requirements for CS at my college of choice, and you need to take a couple math courses, like calculus. So here are my two questions:
1. If I get into CS in college, will calculus play a big part in the computerrelated classes?
2. If I go into a career in programming (like working for a company) will I really need to be good at calculus and other advanced forms of math?
Replies To: Math and a Programming Career
#2
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  10:32 AM
#3
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  12:19 PM
Programing is primarily logic, and pretty simple logic at that. The math discipline it most resembles is geometry; proofs are like programs. To write a program, math is not usually needed. However, computer science is often taught by math geeks and they tend to overestimate their own importance.
You need math for theory, like the infamous O notation. Again, math geeks.
For real life programming, you will find complex math in graphics and anything involving 3D like game engines and simulators. For most everything else, you barely approach algebra.
If you like programming, don't fear the math. Your passion for the good stuff will carry your through. We need more good programmers.
#4
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  03:04 PM
In all seriousness though, programming doesn't take a whole lot of math except for the theory part. Like baavgai said, most of the stuff approaches algebra.
#5
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  06:03 PM
Quote
Don't go talking bad about my homies now
#6
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  06:19 PM
#7
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  06:26 PM
I'm so looking forward to linear algebra next semester!
#8
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  06:46 PM
The most important ability for those who would work with computers is self teaching. Anyone can learn anything, if they can find a way to look at it that makes sense. If the instructor is incompressible, get Calc for dummies ( yes, it exists. ) Find a way to make it make sense. Above all, don't let it stop you. Math is only a part of what you need to do.
Instead, fear basic English because Steinbeck, Dickens, Austin, etc., are all boring as hell and you have to take that too.
#9
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  06:52 PM
Some of his stuff is available at BitTorrent sites so you can download it for free, maybe it can help you a little.
#10
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 21 December 2008  11:46 PM
Long story short, you will need your basic algebra, assume calculus is a part of being a well educated human, and learn (or demand to be taught, as thats what you pay tuition for) formal logic and the broad spectrum of "discrete mathematics".
Note that this is the opinion of a "math geek" who programs, so take with a grain of salt.
Jerome
#11
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 22 December 2008  09:02 AM
#12
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 23 December 2008  05:50 AM
#13
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 26 December 2008  09:47 AM
Don't get discouraged though, I didn't have high grades in math until I started university but today I'm usually the one in class answering mathrelated questions. Just make sure you don't cheat yourself by skipping mathproblems. Do all the problems and evetually you'll get it and exams won't be a problem. The secret is to count and count and count, it's usually not that difficult.
#14
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 26 December 2008  04:13 PM
Most of the people in my class passed it, and those that didn't... well they just have to do it again next semester...
#15
Re: Math and a Programming Career
Posted 26 December 2008  08:24 PM
Don't stress out about the math courses, many before you have had to take these classes and done well. All you need to do is attend the classes, ask questions, do the homework and you'll do fine at all the math classes you'll have to take.
There are several DVDs and math websites that can help you along the way.
Personally, I know professors that teach C++ that will have you code "math concepts", newton methods, linear algebra problems, GCD, Primes... etc...
Don't worry about it! They teach you what you need to know and with websites like DIC, there is plenty of folks that can help you.
