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What math for Computer science?

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Hi, next year i will be completing my last year of highscool and would like to do a CS degree after that. I asked a couple of weeks ago here what math subjects i should choose and everyone suggested discrete and calculus. I was just checking out some universitys websites that i would like to attend and this is what i found Computer Science Subject 1: Any TEE Mathematics* Subject 2: Any subject from List 2 Recommended: Applicable Mathematics * Students who enter with Discrete Mathematics only will be required to take additional mathematics units in first year at University to bring them up to the same standard as Applicable Mathematics Why applicable?? Is it the same at other uni''s?

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Not sure entirely what applicable mathematics entails, but Discrete mathematics should definitely be taken. As for Calculus, I think you should take it just for the fun of it, you won''t NEED to know it for your CS degree, but it''s still fun and useful if you want to do some real-time physics style programming...or something similar. I''ve just finished my first year in CS and I was suprised at the low level of maths involved, just a bit of matrix algebra, set and graph theory, boolean algebra and logic.

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You better take Discrete Math and Calculus, they''re both pretty damn important. What if you want to make a physics simulator somewhere down the road? You''re screwed without calculus.

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Wait a second - I must have missed this in the original post. "Applicable mathematics" is more advanced than Discrete Math? I''ve never heard of "applicable mathematics" but I guess you should take that then.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I''d say take all of the math you can manage. Calc, discrete math, differential equations, linear algebra, etc. are invaluable tools in graphics, physics, and other systems that attempt to mimic reality.

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Every university is somewhat different in their requirements. My university required me to take 3 semesters of engineering Calculus, 2 semesters of 3rd year Discrete Math, and a semester of 4th year calculus-based Statistics and Probability. The new catalog for my uni also requires Linear Algebra.

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In my faculty math courses goes like that(not sortet by semesters):

calculus 1
calculus 2
calculus 3
numerical analysis
advance analysis and signal processing

algebra 1
algebra 2
algebra 3 (optional)

discrete mathematics
probability and statistics

normal differential equations
partial differential equations

In my point of view,a good software engineer must know them all.



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Now here''s a nice "this is my favourite math topic" thread :>

The choice of math topics really depends on the area of computer science you''re pursuing into. *Really.*

So wouldn''t it be better just to choose a programming topic that interests you, and learn the math along with learning the programming?

- Mikko Kauppila

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If you want to go into embedded systems or control systems, you should know at least basic calculus. Also Diff.E.Q. could help with embedded/control systems. Another area calculus might be useful is in some graphics renderings, like understanding the rendering equation and it could be very helpful for understanding some radiosity algorithms.

LinaInverse

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I guess I don''t need to worry about that since I am going for a Math Major instead of a Comp Sci Major. I would end up taking pretty much all of those classes, or more advanced versions, anyway.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Computers are ***discrete**** :-)

I am not sure how to tell you why they are different and how, but in calculus you will begin by learning how to graph functions and perform limits. In discrete math you will learn how to count (hehe) and how to build up logical systems that deal with countable things. If you get a good class you will learn the foundations of math like set theory, logic, functions, relations, and stuff you really need to know.

In any case I always leaned towards discrete math because I have used it so much more and it was taught so well to me. It was also where I learned about recursions, trees, graphs, and the sort of thing as a programmer I have dealt with all the time. Maybe you will get a terrible experience though. I use the stuff I learned in Discrete math everyday all the time.

But, for me *both* were a requirement. I had to take Calculus first Year (1,2,3). I had to take Discrete Math/Foundations 2nd year. It was required for a CS/Math degree (my school was more math than CS really).

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Yep, the math you should learn depends on the field of CS you want to get into. If you''re confused about your choices now, just take the math courses that interest you; you can always pick up the rest later (even if you have to teach it to yourself). Calculus and Discrete Mathematics seem to be the basics. My university''s CS department does not require CS majors to take any Calculus past single variable differential and integral calculus and it doesn''t require them to take linear algebra. Discrete mathematics, logic, and basic probability are requirements. This is my personal experience; I hope it will help.

Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil...prayer,
fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the
double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon...
-- Terry Pratchett

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