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MattMcFarland

Programming with Dyscalculia

5 posts in this topic

Dyscalculia has a wide range of symptoms and some actually can be allieviated through strict discipline and constant work with numbers. I'll testify to that. Some of the symptoms are more apparent in children then in adults, but if you had these symptoms as a child most likely you still suffer with Dyscalculia today. I was wondering if anyone here programs and has Dyscalculia. I think that it is still qutie possible to do so, and I was wondering we could read about techniques in overcoming it (with programming) and also ways to learn mathematics and programming hand and hand. I also wanted to end my post with that I have been programming in BlitzMax for the last few days (Although as a child I played with GW_BASIC, QBASIC etc for years) and have succesfully made a few games using math, but it takes me much longer than other people to learn math related programming.
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Brrr..... that sounds pretty crippling fora programmer. I doubt you can do programming to a good level with difficulties to abstract concepts and have your mathematical noodles all swinging and dancing. A bit like an writter / speaker with dyslexia. well, doesn't bother some (sorry).
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Well I do have to admit that Dyscaluclia was more terrifying in 7th grade when I had to memorize combination lock numbers and be organized for school and have all my books etc. School was a living hell because people thought I was disorganized because I was lazy, etc.

Actually I've over-come a lot of my dyscalculia, its almost like I've grown out of a lot of it. I'm pretty good with Arithmetic nowadays, because I'm an accountant. Seeing as how I watch numbers being added and subtracted all day, I have managed to memorize much of arithmetic and visualize a lot more math. I'm doing very well. I'm even better than most math-savvy people when it comes to Financing and book-keeping!! :) Well, I do things like formulate cash flow, budget money, profit margins and percentages every day and have been doing stuff like that for 3 years. It never was really that hard because calculators and MS EXCEL are easy to use.

With that in mind, I would never say its crippling! I would like to say that it simply takes longer to grasp math, and thats about it! :)
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Well, there is you answer. I'll avoid the David Brent type of replies next time [lol].
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The biggest suggestion I would have is focus on code reuse. Figure out where you have particular problems and most commonly make mistakes then build a library to do those tasks. You may not be able to get around coding it once, but you certainly can get around coding it a second, tenth, hunderdth time. The challenges this handicap presents could well push you to be a better programmer than you would otherwise be by getting you to focus on building on top of what you've already done rather than restarting at the bottom all the time.
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From http://www.dyscalculia.org/thesis.html:

Quote:

Some of the most famous gifted children suffered strange childhood incongruencies in development. Einstein did not speak a word until he was four and had early difficulties with arithmetic. Thomas Edison did not learn to read until he was 9, and was considered a delinquent. Wernher Von Braun, the father of rocketry, flunked 9th grade Algebra (Moore 1981, 2-3).


From oliii's link (strong math is not necessary to run the country (Greenspan did a good job with the numbers ;-))):
Quote:

"Sometimes things aren’t exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures." -- George W. Bush
"It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it." -- George W. Bush


From http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mathematics:
Quote:

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater." --Albert Einstein
"God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically." --Albert Einstein
"I don't believe in mathematics." --Albert Einstein


Fortunately, computers do mathematics very well, whereas "common sense" and higher level thinking is currently impossible for computers (someday, this won't be true: see The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil). Thus, if one is not strong at arithmetic (use the computer to do the work correctly), but strong in other ways (such as design, novel concepts), they can be quite competent programmers / software engineers.

Quote:

"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!" -- Thomas Alva Edison
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