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AnthonyS

Study of mathematics

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AnthonyS    132
Greetings gd.net community, I have a few questions for the graphics experts out there. Having quit college early to pursue my programming and kung-fu, I was never able to finish my education in mathematics. To be honest, it was never a regret until I started getting into computer graphics a few years ago. Well, that was then, and this is now. I've read a book on 3D math for games(3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development) and quite a few siggraph papers, but my fundamental skills in math are still a weakness. It never really dug deep until I read this paper. http://graphics.cs.uiuc.edu/~garland/papers/quadrics.pdf So I bought a calculus book (Calculus with Analytical Geometry 8th edition) and proceeded to work through the book chapter by chapter, partially using MIT's Open Courseware to supplement the book. My intention is to eventually get a deeper understanding of linear algebra, differential geometry, and perhaps physics. Much to my chagrin, many of the calculus topics are very interesting, but not very useful for applied computer graphics. And working through the problem sets a section at a time will take at least 4-6 months - just so I can start practicing linear algebra and differential geometry. Which leads me to my questions, sorry for the long setup. Which subjects in calculus are a must for someone looking to do applied math in computer graphics for games, and which topics can be skipped. I really want to get into the meat of my interests sooner rather than later. Are there any other subjects I'm missing? Maybe Fourier transform? What should I most definitely study in order to better understand Michael Garlands paper. Is there a better pedagogy than the one presented in my textbook for taking math in the direction of computer graphics for games? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Anthony

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swiftcoder    18432
Quote:
Original post by AnthonyS
Which subjects in calculus are a must for someone looking to do applied math in computer graphics for games, and which topics can be skipped. I really want to get into the meat of my interests sooner rather than later.
As far as I can tell, most of calculus is unnecessary for graphics work. You will want the basics, as well as polar co-ordinates and analytic geometry (both of which usually get taught in with calculus), but beyond that the rest is just handy to have around.

You should also take a look at sets and series (a great help to general programmers), as well as probability, and of course as much geometry as you can stomach.

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taesen00    122
It would help a lot to look over high school Geometry as a refresher, but it may be a challenge to look at it from a Graphics perspective. I highly recommend Linear Algebra. David Lay has a great text on it, with a good section dedicated to Computer Graphics, ISBN 0321287134. If you're going to go into Analytic Geometry, a good grasp of Calculus will help. Of course, with Calculus, you'll be able to calculate normal (perpendicular) vectors to curves pretty easily.

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ibebrett    205
You do not need any calculus (and differential equations) whatsoever to understand computer graphics.

Linear Algebra, and just the basics of it (vectors, matrices, transforms) are important and necessary and Linear Algebra does not require calc as a prereq.

If you have any math questions, I am a math major and would be glad to answer (or pass on an answer of a wiser person i could ask) any questsion i can for you.

And what computer graphics paper are you reading which requires an understanding of the Fourier transform?

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