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btalbot

Which math classes should I pick from these options:

7 posts in this topic

I have a few option over the next two or three semesters, but am somewhat limited due to time and money constraints (GI Bill and a wife and baby). Here are the classes offered through next spring:

 

Numerical Analysis I and II

Probability & Statistics I and II (Prob & Stats I is required).

Linear Algebra (advanced).

 

I am a Calc 2 student now and will be taking Elementary Linear Algebra this summer, but I am open to those classes in the following Fall and Spring. I could also take the following if I really really wanted to: 

 

Calc III

Ordinary Differential Equations

Boundary Value Problems

 

The big question is, if you could take only three, which would you take (ignoring that Prob & Stats I is required)? I'm wondering which will serve me best as a developer and specifically as a game developer. Your input is much appreciated. Thank you.

 

How would you play this hand?

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I have a few option over the next two or three semesters, but am somewhat limited due to time and money constraints (GI Bill and a wife and baby). Here are the classes offered through next spring:

 

Numerical Analysis I and II

Probability & Statistics I and II (Prob & Stats I is required).

Linear Algebra (advanced).

 

I am a Calc 2 student now and will be taking Elementary Linear Algebra this summer, but I am open to those classes in the following Fall and Spring. I could also take the following if I really really wanted to: 

 

Calc III

Ordinary Differential Equations

Boundary Value Problems

 

The big question is, if you could take only three, which would you take (ignoring that Prob & Stats I is required)? I'm wondering which will serve me best as a developer and specifically as a game developer. Your input is much appreciated. Thank you.

 

How would you play this hand?

 

That depends on what you'll apply what you learn to, e.g. computer graphics, AI, or something else.

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Game development is quite broad. It depends on what you want to achieve in the field of game development.

My background is gameplay programming which requires beginner understanding of graphics canvas coordinate system, intermediate understanding of object oriented programming of a language of choice, general game programming concepts of game loops and game object state management , etc which pretty much heavily uses conditional logic and branch statements.

As for math, You should take a good look at mathematics for 3d game programming and computer graphics. Some advanced stuff like rigid body collision and cloth and fluid simulation reflections, lighting and shadows and shaders are mentioned. The book expects you to know trigonometry and algebra and calculus as a part of the requirement.

You should also try OpenGL to get your feet wet which allows you to have a tool to work with to achieve a deeper understanding of 3d computer graphics and game programming
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I doubt you would ever use any of that as a professional programmer. It's even more doubtful that anyone will hire because you had them. That you have the degree is really the most important thing. A degree actually in computer science is even better. A degree in computer science with a high GPA even better. So take the one's that easiest. It isn't just that it helps you GPA but that none of them are actually easy. Part of what you should be trying to figure out is what are you good at, what you have an aptitude for, what you learn easiest. It isn't taking easy classes, it's pursuing what you excel at.

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I doubt you would ever use any of that as a professional programmer.

 

I have used most of that stuffs in my current job as a programmer. It really depends on the field you want to apply. Moreover, no one ever looked at my GPA (but I do not live in the USA so it may be different). 

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I doubt you would ever use any of that as a professional programmer.

 

In the games industry you will use those on a regular basis. Linear Algebra (3D transformations), Probability & Statistics (Compression schemes, AI routines), Ordinary Differential Equations (Physics!), and the list goes on. They are *all* useful to know. 

 

It's even more doubtful that anyone will hire because you had them.

 
Within the games industry, you will find it extremely hard to get employed if you know nothing of linear algebra!
 

That you have the degree is really the most important thing.

 
Not it isn't. The important thing is what you have produced in your spare time (or during a university course). If you have some awesome work examples (remember: quality, not quantity!), you'll be invited in for an interview. If you have done nothing beyond the bare minimum to get your degree, you'll struggle.
 
The degree itself is unimportant - The important thing is how you applied yourself during that degree course.  
 

A degree actually in computer science is even better. A degree in computer science with a high GPA even better. 

 
Rubbish. The last 3 graduates I've hired have had degrees in animation, maths, and physics. If you can code *WELL*, you seem like a hard working sort, and you can demonstrate relevant knowledge outside of the realms of programming (like maths, art, physics, animation, design, photography, audio, etc), then you are a very desirable candidate. FWIW, I've have hired zero CS graduates over the last 14 years (out of about 25 or so graduates). Just because they've been taught what a linked list is, doesn't mean they know when it is best to use one, and doesn't mean they have any domain specific knowledge that will actually be useful to a game company. 
 

So take the one's that easiest. 

 
 
Wrong advice. Do the ones that are hardest (because it usually indicates that it's an area in which you are weak), but most importantly do the ones that interest you most (because that interest will ensure you maintain enthusiasm throughout). If a team lead is considering you for a position, they usually want to know :

* Is the person going to get on with the personalities within the team?
* Is this person going to buckle when given a tough challenge?
* Does this person work hard?
* Can this person answer technical questions with sane answers?
 
Believe it or not, team leads in the games industry are not stupid people. If you've chosen to always take the 'easy' route, it stands out like a sore thumb, and you will be moved to the bottom of the pile. We want to recruit the best people we can, not the laziest!
 

It isn't taking easy classes, it's pursuing what you excel at.

 

 

I'd agree with you on that point.

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Thanks everyone for your input. I was a bit dumbfounded at a couple of the comments that denounced certain maths (or all advanced math) as unnecessary or useless. I am almost done with Calc 2 and can certainly see in the road a head that linear algebra, probability and statistics, and a slew of other uses in math and programming, particularly graphics and AI, which both interest me.

 

And thanks for your input RobTheBloke.

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