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programming-maths knowedge required

Roger Rammer
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 19, 2010
Posts: 21
A friend and I were discussing again.

He said programming requires too much maths knowledge-I said that you just need to know the basics (addition, subtraction, division, multiplication). He also reckons HTML is a programming language ;-)

What do you think?
Mat Hematician
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 17, 2010
Posts: 2
I agree with you. Sadly, most programming jobs these days require very little mathematical knowledge. Very boring stuff.
W. Joe Smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 710
Mat, you may want to check out the javaranch naming policy. (I also have suspicions about Rog Rammer as a real name, as it is very close to Prog Rammer, but I will let a moderator make that call)

To answer the question at hand, though, I think there is quite a range of programming jobs that don't require extensive math skills. Complex programming still requires some strong math skills, but there is definately a niche for those without really advanced math experience.


SCJA
When I die, I want people to look at me and say "Yeah, he might have been crazy, but that was one zarkin frood that knew where his towel was."
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

1) I could not disagree more. But I probably have a different definition of 'math' than you. I consider logic, in all it's forms, to be math. All the control statements, all the boolean logic, heck - even devising your algorithm for what you're going to code - in my mind, that's ALL math.

2) HTML used to not be a programming language. I haven't kept up on it at all, so I don't know what's in the new HTML 5 standard (or whatever it is).

3) Finally, I don't think there is such a thing as "too much math knowledge", any more than there is "too much literacy". How can more knowledge of any kind be a bad thing?


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Roger Rammer
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 19, 2010
Posts: 21
There is a difference here between Maths and logic in some ways-that why aptitude tests test them separately. The test with the shapes etc is separate from the ones which ask you to look at sets of numbers and work out the next one. I think what has happened is that Logic is done easily by mathematicians so they have gobbled it up ;-)

I think as web applications have evolved, HTML and scripting languages and programming languages have converged. HTML will never be programming-it is a part of web design. JSP/ASP involves you writing program code. Javascript/VBscript are scripting languages which allow you to apply programmatic logic to web pages but are still not programming languages.

IT Careers

fred rosenberger wrote:

1) I could not disagree more. But I probably have a different definition of 'math' than you. I consider logic, in all it's forms, to be math. All the control statements, all the boolean logic, heck - even devising your algorithm for what you're going to code - in my mind, that's ALL math.

2) HTML used to not be a programming language. I haven't kept up on it at all, so I don't know what's in the new HTML 5 standard (or whatever it is).

3) Finally, I don't think there is such a thing as "too much math knowledge", any more than there is "too much literacy". How can more knowledge of any kind be a bad thing?
Mat Hematician
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 17, 2010
Posts: 2
W. Joe Smith wrote:(I also have suspicions about Rog Rammer as a real name, as it is very close to Prog Rammer, but I will let a moderator make that call)

I am shocked - shocked! - at your suggestion that Rog might not be using a real name. I'm sure he comes from a long, proud line of Rammers, just as I come from a long, proud line of Hematicians.

("Joe Smith", yeah right, that seems real...)

Roger Rammer
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 19, 2010
Posts: 21
Yes, its a little like having some suspects in an identity parade.

Dan Singh was also in there as was Joe King! Joe Smith looks completely innocent here ;-)

Rog Rammer(Rog is short for Roger btw)

Anyway what sort of programs has everybody been writing? I love writing programs which access databases.....

IT Careers

Mat Hematician wrote:
W. Joe Smith wrote:(I also have suspicions about Rog Rammer as a real name, as it is very close to Prog Rammer, but I will let a moderator make that call)

I am shocked - shocked! - at your suggestion that Rog might not be using a real name. I'm sure he comes from a long, proud line of Rammers, just as I come from a long, proud line of Hematicians.

("Joe Smith", yeah right, that seems real...)

Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 40052
    
  28
W. Joe Smith wrote:Mat, you may want to check out the javaranch naming policy. (I also have suspicions about Rog Rammer as a real name . . .
I am slightly less suspicious than you about Mat Hematician, but would appreciate confirmation from Mat.

I am however more suspicious about you, "Rog Rammer": please take note.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 40052
    
  28
Damn! I fell for it I was reading it like Hemoglobin; if I hadn't got used to American spellings I would have seen it much sooner.

Change it, "Mat"!!
W. Joe Smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 710
Mat Hematician wrote:("Joe Smith", yeah right, that seems real...)



Sad part is I get that about twice a week.....
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 40052
    
  28
If you didn't have a previous name warning, Rog Rammer, I would take no notice.

And Mat, behave yourself or I'll get one of the sheriffs to close your account.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

Rog --

I'm lucky enough to work on software in the artificial intelligence and simulation fields. I've used tons of linear algebra and even some vector calculus in my work. I've computed volumes and areas, intersections and overlaps, permutations and combinations, and loved it all. But I'll grant that this is unusual, and I suspect you're right, that most programmers need precious little maths.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
W. Joe Smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 710
Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:Rog --

I'm lucky enough to work on software in the artificial intelligence and simulation fields. I've used tons of linear algebra and even some vector calculus in my work. I've computed volumes and areas, intersections and overlaps, permutations and combinations, and loved it all. But I'll grant that this is unusual, and I suspect you're right, that most programmers need precious little maths.


Wasn't the title of your doctoral thesis "Stuff people named Joe Smith will never understand."?
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

Well, close.
Roger Rammer
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 19, 2010
Posts: 21
Good comment Ernest. I loved Calculus, Algebra and Number theory on my degree course although it is going back a few years ago and I dont have much use for it now

I loved the theorems, proofs, equations, partial differential equations, writing in Greek

Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:Rog --

I'm lucky enough to work on software in the artificial intelligence and simulation fields. I've used tons of linear algebra and even some vector calculus in my work. I've computed volumes and areas, intersections and overlaps, permutations and combinations, and loved it all. But I'll grant that this is unusual, and I suspect you're right, that most programmers need precious little maths.
Ryan McGuire
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2005
Posts: 1013
    
    3
Roger Rammer wrote:
I think as web applications have evolved, HTML and scripting languages and programming languages have converged. HTML will never be programming-it is a part of web design. JSP/ASP involves you writing program code. Javascript/VBscript are scripting languages which allow you to apply programmatic logic to web pages but are still not programming languages.


I'm not sure how "it is a part of web design" is an argument against HTML counting as programming.

Anyhow...
What is "programming" anyhow? If you ask me, it's something along the lines of creating the correct source code to get a computer to do what you want. You still have to know pretty specific syntax in order to generate correct HTML. How is that any different from having to know the correct syntax to write a JSP, Java, C# or Basic program?

It always amuses and/or irritates me (depending on my mood) when a new software package is advertised as allowing you to create complex applications "with zero programming", only to require you to edit a dozen XML, XSLT, HTML, and other config files to specify exactly what you want. In these cases you don't get any kind of wizard to fill in the files for you; you still have to use an editor to make your changes. To me, that counts as "programming". The syntax spec for XML, HTML, Windows config files, etc plus the semantic requirements of any given application are just programming languages.

 
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