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Will Programming Help Me In Math?

by tackyattack
Tags: math, programming
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tackyattack
#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.
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tahayassen
#2
Nov1-12, 01:38 PM
P: 273
Afaik, programming will teach you procedural thinking which is not very useful in math.
phinds
#3
Nov1-12, 02:19 PM
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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
#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
#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
#6
Nov1-12, 04:23 PM
HW Helper
P: 7,032
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
#7
Nov2-12, 07:41 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 3,246
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
#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
#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.


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