Will Programming Help Me In Math?


by tackyattack
Tags: math, programming
tackyattack
tackyattack is offline
#1
Nov1-12, 01:12 PM
P: 51
Hello,

So basically I am worried that once I begin learning math subjects beyond algebra I will struggle. I can program in C and BASIC and was wondering if that programmer knowledge will help me with the abstract thinking and problem solving part of it.
Phys.Org News Partner Mathematics news on Phys.org
Researchers help Boston Marathon organizers plan for 2014 race
'Math detective' analyzes odds for suspicious lottery wins
Pseudo-mathematics and financial charlatanism
tahayassen
tahayassen is offline
#2
Nov1-12, 01:38 PM
P: 273
Afaik, programming will teach you procedural thinking which is not very useful in math.
phinds
phinds is offline
#3
Nov1-12, 02:19 PM
PF Gold
phinds's Avatar
P: 5,690
I agree w/ tahayassen and would add that I think you have it backwards. More math knowledge will make it easier for you to create computer algorithms that solve problems.

tahayassen
tahayassen is offline
#4
Nov1-12, 02:23 PM
P: 273

Will Programming Help Me In Math?


I agree with phinds, but do note that you shouldn't major in math/physics if you want to become a programmer.
tackyattack
tackyattack is offline
#5
Nov1-12, 04:22 PM
P: 51
I wish to become an electrical engineer. I've learned that it is almost all math so I was hoping my problem solving skills I have gained from programming would aid me. I guess not :(
rcgldr
rcgldr is offline
#6
Nov1-12, 04:23 PM
HW Helper
P: 6,925
Part of programming is breaking down a problem into smaller components and/or steps, which may help with some types of math problems. Some types of programming may involve a bit of math that you may not have covered yet, like the modulo function. Some aspects of math, such as finite field math, might be easier to understand if you create programs that implement those aspects of math. There's also some overlap between some types of math and programming, such as numerical integration of ordinary differential equations.

So overall, programming won't help much, but you may find it useful for some of your math classes.

update - I just saw your last post. Electrical engineering will involve some usage of computer based tools, and knowing how to program will help.
Stephen Tashi
Stephen Tashi is offline
#7
Nov2-12, 07:41 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 3,175
Programming can teach you a lot about math. Whether it does depends on what your programs do. What kind of programs do you write?

You should expand your programming knowledge to include C++ or some "object oriented" language.
Best Pokemon
Best Pokemon is offline
#8
Nov2-12, 11:08 PM
P: 45
Quote Quote by Stephen Tashi View Post
Programming can teach you a lot about math. Whether it does depends on what your programs do. What kind of programs do you write?

You should expand your programming knowledge to include C++ or some "object oriented" language.
What about the functional programming paradigm?
coeilsmicah
coeilsmicah is offline
#9
Nov20-12, 05:05 AM
P: 3
As someone who also programs, I feel that it has helped me a lot in math. Programming, especially reading other peoples programs, makes you learn to follow the logic of programs, which are sometimes convoluted. I think being able to interpret programs is a skill that carries over to math. Like someone else has said, it also teaches you to break complicated problems down.

I'd second Best Pokemon's suggestion. Functional languages have been said to be the closest to expressing things as they are in math.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Best Programming Language for a Math Major? Programming & Computer Science 13
Math and Programming Career Guidance 12
Math degree useless without knowing programming? Career Guidance 17
Math Programming Language Linear & Abstract Algebra 8
Math / Programming Problem General Math 5