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CodaKiller

How to make math fun?

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Well I enjoy programing since it gives me the ability to create things, I need to improve my math skills but I just don't find math interesting. How can I make it enjoyable in the same way programming is?

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Perhaps you should try applying it. If problem-solving alone is not satisfying enough for you, it could be a good idea to solve problems where the result is useful in overcoming obstacles in some creation process. I'll give it some more thought, but I can't think of much really. I love the intricacy of mathematics, that's what makes it fun for me. Basically the same reason I like programming. Does that not intrigue you, or have you not thought of it that way? It's hard to tell since I don't know your level of math, are we talking graduate, undergraduate, high-school?

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Making Math fun is a matter of changing it up a bit. Here is a very simple Math example:

a = 5 + 2

What is a?

Total Guns = 5 + 2

= 7

7 Total Guns

So my point is, sometimes relating the subject to something you like can help majorly when doing any subject.

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When I first studied linear algebra in univeristy I must say I had several problems, since my math skills are really weak. In addition, it was too abstract for my taste, and I was not able to understand what most of those things were used for.
Now I'm using many of those things in my raytracer.
The same thing applies to calculus and probability.
So I have to agree: if you don't find math interesting, find a math related application that you find interesting and code it. You will then be forced to study what you need in order to complete the project.

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Quote:
Original post by Omid Ghavami
Perhaps you should try applying it. If problem-solving alone is not satisfying enough for you, it could be a good idea to solve problems where the result is useful in overcoming obstacles in some creation process. I'll give it some more thought, but I can't think of much really. I love the intricacy of mathematics, that's what makes it fun for me. Basically the same reason I like programming. Does that not intrigue you, or have you not thought of it that way? It's hard to tell since I don't know your level of math, are we talking graduate, undergraduate, high-school?


High school level and I do believe the only way I can stand to spend the time learning it is if I could apply it to something but I have no idea what? I could go to some kind of class for it to force myself to use it but I'd prefer to spend time learning something I'm interested in.

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As suggested earlier, start by coming up with a problem that you must solve. Here are some examples.

1) make a ball bounce around on a 2D screen (ie billiard balls). Once you have the math working, make it interesting by adding different shaped objects in the way to deflect your ball

2) Create a projectile cannon that lets you shoot objects. User can control the angle and power and you need to calculate the trajectory. Make it interesting by adding wind forces, gravity and objects to hit.

3) Create a 2D top down shooter. kinda like centipede or 1942 (old games from the 80's) To make it interesting add the math so that your targets not only come down the screen, but also try to come after the player and avoid your bullets.

Each of these suggestions are 2D type games. All will require a graphics component, which I'm not sure if that is going to be a problem for you or not.

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check out the MIT OCW (just google that) they have pretty good math classes, but i would recommend the physics classes with walter lewin (8.0*). You get to apply math to physics, and the prof is amazing.

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Quote:
Original post by mmakrzem
As suggested earlier, start by coming up with a problem that you must solve. Here are some examples.

1) make a ball bounce around on a 2D screen (ie billiard balls). Once you have the math working, make it interesting by adding different shaped objects in the way to deflect your ball

2) Create a projectile cannon that lets you shoot objects. User can control the angle and power and you need to calculate the trajectory. Make it interesting by adding wind forces, gravity and objects to hit.

3) Create a 2D top down shooter. kinda like centipede or 1942 (old games from the 80's) To make it interesting add the math so that your targets not only come down the screen, but also try to come after the player and avoid your bullets.

Each of these suggestions are 2D type games. All will require a graphics component, which I'm not sure if that is going to be a problem for you or not.


I am so much beyond that it would bore me for starters and second I would find it useless to do the math myself when there are so many free physics APIs out there.

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Quote:
Original post by ibebrett
check out the MIT OCW (just google that) they have pretty good math classes, but i would recommend the physics classes with walter lewin (8.0*). You get to apply math to physics, and the prof is amazing.


Yeah thats pretty awesome, I'll defiantly give it a try!

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Original post by CodaKiller
I am so much beyond that it would bore me for starters and second I would find it useless to do the math myself when there are so many free physics APIs out there.


If that is the case, why do you want to do the math at all, if you can let the physics API do it for you?

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