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seconal

Didn't pay attention in HS. Now it comes back to haunt me.

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Hi. I'm a programmer just out of college and, aspiring to go into game development, I took up programming for the GBA. Syntax and logic wise, it's not difficult. However, I've come to a fork in the road. I either ignore my extremely limited math background and stick to making pixels go left and right, up and down... or I cowboy up and re-learn(read: learn; "re-learn" suggests that I once knew the material) basic math skills. I'm talking about Calculus, Trigonometry, Vectors, linear algebra, all that good stuff from high school. I've been browsing the Math and Physics Books section and have come across 1 book that looks appealing. "Mathematics and Physics for Programmers by Danny Kodicek" seems to not assume the reader knows anything but the basics (+,-,*,/). The rest of the books seems too specialized for my needs and abilities right now. What I need is some recommended material that will help me gain those high school math skills. I'm looking for something that goes really in-depth, answering my "Why?'s" at every turn; not so much a reference book. Thank you for your time.

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Sorry, I don't have any recommendations, but I have a question. I assume you got a degree in computer science or engineering. How did you get through college without knowing/learning calculus or trigonometry?

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I'd recommend "Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers" by Wendy Stahler. Its the book im using and I find it noobie friendly. Ive never read another book on math so I dont know if its the best or not.

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I also ran into the same situation a few years back with a Associates Degree (2 year degree) in computer programming. This degree only required college algebra.

If you are realy serious about game development, then I highly recommend you bite the bullet and get yourself pre-calculus (with trig), calculus with analytical geometry and a linear algebra book. You may also consider going to a community college and getting a 2 year degree in math. This will cover the above material including a course in differential equations.

Aside from these core topics you can always get a 'math for game developers' book to satisfy your current development needs. All math and no applications makes jonney a dull boy!


good luck and have fun

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Original post by JohnBolton
Sorry, I don't have any recommendations, but I have a question. I assume you got a degree in computer science or engineering. How did you get through college without knowing/learning calculus or trigonometry?


I'm not sure. My college program was only for a 2 year "Computer Programming Diploma" at the end of which I can just leave with that, or go into a specialty like gaming, networking, database, etc. I'm taking about a year off to decide what I want to do. I imagine the speciality programs require math.

A bit more info if interested: The course consisted of C, Perl, UNIX, C++, ASP .NET using C#, html, xhtml, javascript, CSS, Java, and a bunch of filler like Windows architecture (User mode, Kernel Mode, hardware), networking.

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Quote:
Original post by ForeverNoobie
I'd recommend "Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers" by Wendy Stahler. Its the book im using and I find it noobie friendly. Ive never read another book on math so I dont know if its the best or not.


I read some of the reviews for that book and they were pretty bad. I'll take a look at it if I ever come across it at my Chapters.

Quote:
Original post by smc
I also ran into the same situation a few years back with a Associates Degree (2 year degree) in computer programming. This degree only required college algebra.

If you are realy serious about game development, then I highly recommend you bite the bullet and get yourself pre-calculus (with trig), calculus with analytical geometry and a linear algebra book.You may also consider going to a community college and getting a 2 year degree in math. This will cover the above material including a course in differential equations.

Aside from these core topics you can always get a 'math for game developers' book to satisfy your current development needs. All math and no applications makes jonney a dull boy!


good luck and have fun


Any recommendations for that? Those topics right there sound exactly what I'm looking for.

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Quote:

Any recommendations for that? Those topics right there sound exactly what I'm looking for.


Well there are lots of them... here are a few.

Precalculus - Larson / Hostetler
Calculus With Analytical Geometry - Larson / Hostetler / Edwards (covers 3 semesters of Calculus)
I use the free linear algebra book - Linear Algebra
Reference - Online Books

When buying a calculus book check to see it comes with solutions, or you can by a solutions manual. This will help you immensly when you run up against a wall.

Before I started work toward a 4 year computer science degree I went down to my local thrift store and bought the precalculus book mentioned above. This book got me up to speed with my algebra and trig, and only put me back a few dollars. However, this book is old (3rd adition). I do recommend buying a newer calculus book, as the older ones will be hard to follow due to a lack of nice illistrations.

I am sure you want to get your hands dirty, so I do recommend getting one of the lighter 'math for game devs' just so you can feel like you are accomplishing something with your learning. I say this because going through a pre-calc->calc sequence is not easy (at least for me).

EDIT: What I mean by older calculus books are books from the 50/60's or earlier. I have one published in the 50's. I can follow it, but it is 'harder' then a newer one IMO.

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Quote:
Original post by smc
Quote:

Any recommendations for that? Those topics right there sound exactly what I'm looking for.


Well there are lots of them... here are a few.

Precalculus - Larson / Hostetler
Calculus With Analytical Geometry - Larson / Hostetler / Edwards (covers 3 semesters of Calculus)
I use the free linear algebra book - Linear Algebra
Reference - Online Books

When buying a calculus book check to see it comes with solutions, or you can by a solutions manual. This will help you immensly when you run up against a wall.

Before I started work toward a 4 year computer science degree I went down to my local thrift store and bought the precalculus book mentioned above. This book got me up to speed with my algebra and trig, and only put me back a few dollars. However, this book is old (3rd adition). I do recommend buying a newer calculus book, as the older ones will be hard to follow due to a lack of nice illistrations.

I am sure you want to get your hands dirty, so I do recommend getting one of the lighter 'math for game devs' just so you can feel like you are accomplishing something with your learning. I say this because going through a pre-calc->calc sequence is not easy (at least for me).

EDIT: What I mean by older calculus books are books from the 50/60's or earlier. I have one published in the 50's. I can follow it, but it is 'harder' then a newer one IMO.


Thanks for the recommendations.
I'll be going to a book store tomorrow, probably spend an hour checking out some of the books there.

Thanks to everyone for the speedy replies.

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Get "Linear Algebra and its Applications" by David Lay. It's pretty much the only Algebra book you'll need for quite a while. It may not have coding examples, but that's why the book is actually useful. Because you actually learn math from it. The exercises are useful and relevant and the text is very well-written. Even new material should be easy to learn if you read the chapter carefully and attempt the example exercises.

I'm not big on Calculus (I don't find it as interesting so I don't keep as well practiced with it), but any single variable calculus book should do for now. As for trig, you should get enough of it in a Calc and Alg book to not need a dedicated book for it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0201709708/sr=8-1/qid=1148368888/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-3545170-0840933?%5Fencoding=UTF8

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Quote:
Original post by cardinal
Get "Linear Algebra and its Applications" by David Lay. It's pretty much the only Algebra book you'll need for quite a while. It may not have coding examples, but that's why the book is actually useful. Because you actually learn math from it. The exercises are useful and relevant and the text is very well-written. Even new material should be easy to learn if you read the chapter carefully and attempt the example exercises.

I'm not big on Calculus (I don't find it as interesting so I don't keep as well practiced with it), but any single variable calculus book should do for now. As for trig, you should get enough of it in a Calc and Alg book to not need a dedicated book for it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0201709708/sr=8-1/qid=1148368888/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-3545170-0840933?%5Fencoding=UTF8


Thanks for the reply.
One question, does "single variable calculus" go by any other name? I'm looking on Wikipedia now at an article listing all types of Calculus. The closest I can see to "single variable" is "integral calculus". Are these the same thing?

I'm trying to minimize a loss in $'s here.

So far I've got three books in mind:
1. "Mathematics and Physics for Programmers by Danny Kodicek"
- Help me feel like I'm applying some math to programming so I don't get
discouraged.
2. "Linear Algebra and Its Applications (3rd Edition) by David C. Lay"
- My algebra fix.
3. "<Insert linear (integral?) calculus book here>"
- My calculus fix. Because I need those basics.

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You want a book that covers single and multivariate calculus such as this one link

Yes this one is expensive. Just make sure the book covers single and multivariate calculus...

I have heard the book by Thomas and Finney is also good.
link

This will cover differential and integral calculus in single and mutiple variables. FYI, derivitive and integral calculations are essentialy inverse operations. The derivitive portion of calculus is concerned with the tangent line problem, and integral calculus is concerned with the area problem.

Just as a side note. The first book has a free online solution manual (odd problems). You can also purchase 18 months of tutoring for $25 USD. I am not sure if the book by Thomas and Finney also has the same. I'll post a link to the solutions guide later... I have to run to a final.

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Quote:
Original post by smc
You want a book that covers single and multivariate calculus such as this one link

Yes this one is expensive. Just make sure the book covers single and multivariate calculus...

I have heard the book by Thomas and Finney is also good.
link

This will cover differential and integral calculus in single and mutiple variables. FYI, derivitive and integral calculations are essentialy inverse operations. The derivitive portion of calculus is concerned with the tangent line problem, and integral calculus is concerned with the area problem.

Just as a side note. The first book has a free online solution manual (odd problems). You can also purchase 18 months of tutoring for $25 USD. I am not sure if the book by Thomas and Finney also has the same. I'll post a link to the solutions guide later... I have to run to a final.


Thank you and good luck on that final. I'm leaning towards the latter referal judging by price and reviews.

I now have a good idea of the three books I'm going with for now.
Thanks again to everyone who replied.

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I agree the thomas and finney book has better reviews. I currently use the first one with my calculus class (7th addition).

Here is the link anyway... link

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I second the recommendation of the Lay book for linear algebra. It's clearly written and shockingly easy to follow for a math textbook. :)

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