Math, Physics and their relation to Programming

This is a discussion on Math, Physics and their relation to Programming within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I am not at all knowledgable in either of these subjects. It's not that i'm bad at them, as in ...

  1. #1
    free(me);
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    Question Math, Physics and their relation to Programming

    I am not at all knowledgable in either of these subjects. It's not that i'm bad at them, as in i can't understand them, on the contrary they seemed to come more easily to me than most of my classmates, it's just that education in my country is very bad in those subjects and, on top of that, i never really tried.

    Now that i'm actually dedicating myself to programming, i realize my mistake. What i'm asking is how important is exceptional knowledge of thes subjects to programming? And how could i make up for my lack of it?

    I'm thinking i'm just gonna have to teach myself math like i am programming, since i already graduated from highschool.

    Thanks...
    adios,
    biterman.
    Do you know how contemptous they are of you?

  2. #2
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    I think that math can help you a lot (specially if you're doing 3D game programming, such as I), but as of physics, I don't think that it's a vital topic, it can help you doing physics programs, but I don't think that it can help you anymore

    But I really think that math has no direct practical use to a programmer. What math does (and this is why I recommend it) is to keep your mind "awake", some of you may think that this is no big deal, but it is, solving math problems makes it easier to understand how problem solving works and you can solve programming problems much easier

    Oskilian

  3. #3
    Sayeh
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    I agree, that it is more important to know math, atleast algebra and perhaps vector/matrix math (analytical geometry) than it is to know physics if you want to be a developer.

    However, in truth, it really depends what it is you want to program.

    if you are writing a word processor, higher math is virtually useless. If you are writing a gyro-stabilization system for a missile fire-control platform, then of course, not only would physics be necessary, but no doubt calculus, as well.

    It really depends on what you want to develop.

    If you don't want to learn much math, make friends with someone who really likes math. they can crunch math while you code...

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    But I still think that math can help you develop your own mind and train it for difficult problems.

    Oskilian

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    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
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    i agree that math helps your logic... and that math in and of itself is not a necessity to program... as well as that the more you know the better you're off and that it depends on the program...
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

  6. #6
    Ethereal Raccoon Procyon's Avatar
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    Physics can also be useful. A large part of physics is just applied math, and gaining experience with not only the math itself but how it is applied to specific problems is quite useful. Quite often these applications are more directly applicable, too; knowing how to apply things like vector calculus can help a lot in writing a 3D program. And of course physics can be directly applicable if you're writing simulation-type software (gravity, collisions, etc.)

  7. #7
    the Corvetter
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    I believe that math is vital to programming. First of all, like someone said, it really gets your mind thinking in the right direction and helps you logical thinking (which is necessary in programming). Also, math is a lot of programming like drawing, and (like somebody said) game programming. Math is big in software developement.

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    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
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    >A large part of physics is just applied math

    well said... algorithms == bag o' tricks... the more you know... and the more you share the more you have...
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

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    Well... knowing some math does help an awful lot for putting things into perspective. Not really much practical math, unless the application has to do with some specific situations, but understanding bases other than 10, how to carry when adding, how to shift-multiply, medians, or maybe a bit about sets and counting, is I'd say is quite important to programming, the lower level programming, the more important it is.
    Callou collei we'll code the way
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  10. #10
    Registered User goran's Avatar
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    Even in mathematics, one should have a strong base in algebra, statistics... can't think of applications making use of calculus or trigonometry ...
    as far as developing one's logic is concerned, i would suggest lateral thinking ...


    cheers.
    I don't wait for the future; it comes soon enough.

  11. #11
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    Post ...

    Well it seems that either i'm over-estimating the importance of math/physics, or most of you are under-estimating it. Hehe!

    I agree that it depends on what you're writting, but just because you're writting a word processor and not a game (be it 3d or whatnot) doesn't have to mean that you couldn't tackle the math/physics required to make a game enviroment (gravity, collisions, etc... etc...).

    I haven't done anything similar in C yet -and won't be doing so for a while, but when i coded DHTML i had to figure out a bit of math to be able to properly move layers from one point to another at a given speed. And i couldn't figure out how to make layers move around in circles, or accelerate/deaccelerate; i couldn't do so because i didn't know the math required. So one does need math.

    Of course one might find some libraries that do everything for you. But i want to know how to do things myself. I guess, like i said before, i'll have to teach myself. Hehe, and oddly enough, i don't know why, but i've always preferred learning on my own than taking classes. Is that just me, or is that common; i mean... what do you guys prefer?

    Oh well...

    adios,
    biterman.
    Do you know how contemptous they are of you?

  12. #12
    Registered User goran's Avatar
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    yup, same here. classes never worked for me.
    I don't wait for the future; it comes soon enough.

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    In my opinion, math is important in any aspect of programming. Someone said that you don't need to know much math to write a word processor. I disagree, take truetype fonts and raster images for instance. Trutype fonts have like 12 measurements for each character!, image in the algorithm required to change the font of a 20 page document all at once... people don't realise what goes on behind the scenes, math is everywhere. Raster images are a bunch of vectors that are scaled and drawn according to font size. I think you should learn as much (of anything) as possible esp. math, it'll make you a better programmer.
    hth
    Drewpee

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