Dec 20, 2012

Is learning math important to becoming a programmer?

Great post @ ITworld here. Would love to hear other thoughts.
Here's an interesting thread that explores that very question.

Is mathematics necessary for programming?

"I happened to debate with a friend during college days whether advanced mathematics is necessary for any veteran programmer. He used to argue fiercely against that. He said that programmers need only basic mathematical knowledge from high school or fresh year college math, no more no less, and that almost all of programming tasks can be achieved without even need for advanced math. He argued, however, that algorithms are fundamental & must-have asset for programmers.

My stance was that all computer science advances depended almost solely on mathematics advances, and therefore a thorough knowledge in mathematics would help programmers greatly when they're working with real-world challenging problems.

I still cannot settle on which side of the arguments is correct. Could you tell us your stance, from your own experience?"
I agree with rousseau. Programming, it seems to me (as a non-programmer) is part relentless logic and part inspiration. Math trains your mind to think in a methodical and precise way. There's no rounding up or ball-parking in programming. Code has to be right on the money or it doesn't work.


Definitely. Aside from the practical applied uses of mathematics, it teaches an ordered, methodical and logical approach to problem solving, which directly applies to challenges of programing. I think there is a reason you see relatively few programmers with English degrees. I'm not bashing liberal arts or classical studies (that would require me knocking my own undergrad degrees), but the thinking that is encouraged there tends to be more conceptual and less rigid.  

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