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Abstract Algebra & Computer Science

  1. Aug 25, 2009 #1

    I have heard a few times that it is beneficial to study abstract algebra if I want to study computer science at advanced level (i.e. upper class, grad school, etc.), but is this true? If so, why would it be so?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2009 #2
    I will bump this thread just for once.
  4. Aug 27, 2009 #3
    Probably because theoretical computer science deals with the abstract, logical and mathematical aspects of computing and besides mathematical logic, abstract algebra is the mathematical discipline that comes closest to CS at an advanced level? Anyways, I don't give much credence to labels. As far as I know, some of the best (pure) math students in my grade treat theoretical physics pretty much as a branch of pure mathematics. I'm sure there are computer scientists who share a similar line of thought, though I can't say much else about this.
  5. Aug 27, 2009 #4
    Abstract algebra is supposedly chocked full of material applicable to computer science (I'm not a computer scientist so I can't elaborate too much). I know for certain that cryptology and quantum information theory rely heavily on modern algebra. Considering that category theory is now playing a big role in computer science, it seems as though algebra (which is directly related to category theory) would be a good thing to have under your belt if you want to keep your options wide open.

    Algebraic geometry has a great deal of physics and robotics applications, but to get into that you would be straying pretty far away from your current field (and you would need to cover a lot of pure mathematics material).
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