Algebra Course That Teaches Logic Of Math Rather Than Instructions Do Computer Scientists Use Math?

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Do Computer Scientists Use Math?

Recently, a student, “James,” asked him if it was possible for him to work in the computer field, even though he doesn’t like math and says he’s not good at it.

The short answer: yes. The longest answer? yes and no

There is a huge opportunity for the development of all kinds of software and hardware that do not require mathematics, per se. Fields like software/application design and UX (user experience) quality assurance require an understanding of the language involved and how the software interacts with the general hardware, but not the deep math.

So James can make a good career working with computers without knowing their epsilons and deltas.

But will the math be useful?

Some areas, like some of the formulas we memorize in calculus class, won’t be useful. But others, such as discrete mathematics, will be very useful to James: they will teach him concrete concepts that he can use in his work, and they will also help him develop an analytical mind that will be useful to him.

Consider this: If James wants to analyze a program that he or his team is writing, and see if he can improve it in some way, ie: change the structure of the program so that it runs more efficiently, that it’s essentially a matter of math, what are called “algorithms”: James can examine the program and find parts that are redundant or could be done in a better way, and then revise the program.

You don’t need to think strictly in mathematical terms, though, to do this: the kind of thinking you’re doing, about the structures within the program and how they relate to each other, is very similar to what some mathematicians do. . So good programming, at least in many kinds of programming, is very similar to mathematical thinking and the kind of thinking that is used in problems of discrete classes of mathematics.

The only area I could get into with computers that really requires a deep understanding of a wide variety of math would be theoretical computing, like what college computer scientists work on. The work they do is math-intensive and requires an understanding of calculus, analysis, which is like a more formalized version of calculus, logic, statistics, and linear algebra.

Then again, theoretical computing is probably not what James is interested in to begin with. If you want to work with computers and use them to solve interesting real-world problems, you’ll probably be fine even if you get a C in calculus.

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