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is it worth spending time On advanced Mathematics topics?

Yahya Elyasse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Hello guys,

Before i integrated the CS field i studied a good deal of advanced mathematics. I was recently reviewing my old math books and found i forgot most of this stuff
I told myself i should dig again in advanced math topics ,but i'm anxious as i fair this could be a time wasting.
There is a field called Applied computational Math which i suppose is quit related to CS and would be worth studying it.
Now the point: Most of the project i work on have few relation with applied mathematics this is why i'm worried i would be wasting time if i dig again in Math courses.
I still need to learn many topics in CS and fair if i go back to math i'll not be able to advance in my CS learning.
what could you advise me guys?

thanks much.
K. Tsang
Bartender

Joined: Sep 13, 2007
Posts: 2415
    
    7

The question to ask is do you "need" to pick up advanced math? From college, you should have learned calculus, discrete math (CS required), differential equations and probability & statistics. At least these are what most engineering math covers.

Personally among these math fields, I only found prob & stats really useful in daily life even I didn't use it technically. When it comes to programming and software engineering... discrete math topics boil down to logic, which is really common sense.

However, if you are planning to take masters or something and it requires you to have advanced math knowledge as a prereq, those topics would really be again in differential equations, prob & stats (eg combinatorics, permutation stuff) and my favorite topic analysis (eg advanced calculus really).


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

If you're lucky enough to find yourself developing games or other 3D graphics applications, then you will need good 3D geometry and linear algebra knowledge. And I've been known to use results from vector calculus as well, from time to time!


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Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38821
    
  23
And the distortions and transforms used in games programming use a lot of matrix manipulations.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Campbell Ritchie wrote:And the distortions and transforms used in games programming use a lot of matrix manipulations.


... which comprise a field of study known as "linear algebra".
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38821
    
  23
I never realised matrices were called linear algebra Sorry.
Yahya Elyasse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Thank you guys for the responses.
i always believed that the first programmers were mathematicians ,so that's why i always felt Math is an important discipline that should be combined with CS filed .
unfortunately i still didn't got that project of my dream where i could get back to apply all the math concepts that i learned in past.
I think the wiser decision is to keep learning the CS concepts and wait until one day I get a project with very close links with applied math and computational mathematics...I still have a lot of concepts to learn in CS and i really can't manage the too much load of both all math and CS topics.
BTW, does anyone of you guys knows what are the math topics studied in "Applied computational Math"? this field seems to be a new math field quit different from classic math.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41843
    
  63
The majority of Java projects I see require little in the way of math, certainly nothing that goes beyond what you learn in high school. Discrete math comes in handy every so often, but even then just the basic stuff. So I'd say you're better off studying algorithms and complexity theory if you're interested in math in CS.


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