Maths in Computer Science?

  1. Apr 1, 2012 #1
    As a person learning calculus, I always get frustrated by considering the practical applications of it. In an interview Larry Ellison said this about relational database programming:

    "Relational database technology was invented by a guy by the name of Ted Codd at IBM. It's based on relational algebra and relational calculus. It is a very mathematically rigorous form of data management that we can prove mathematically to be functionally complete."

    Could someone possibly explain or direct me towards where I can find out precisely how databases can be linked to calculus/maths?

    Any input is much appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2012 #2
    He is referring to to a different kind of calculus than the field you're thinking of. Googling either of the terms you listed will find you a definition, which will go a long way towards describing their applications in CS. Beyond that, you won't be able to do much without a background in logic.
  4. Apr 1, 2012 #3
    Thanks, will do so. Just to quickly ask, do you refer to a specific study of logic, or just logic in a more general sense?
  5. Apr 2, 2012 #4
    For computer science, you deal with a branch called Boolean Algebra. This study is VERY important because, without it, we wouldn't even have logic gates!

    I don't know where you're at in your math/CS journey, so I'll leave you with the wikipedia article:

    Good luck.
  6. Apr 2, 2012 #5
    Definitely the formal study of logic. Unfortunately, logic courses (beyond simple introductions) tend to be rare at most Universities.
  7. Apr 2, 2012 #6


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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  8. Apr 2, 2012 #7

    Relational databases are based on relations in set theory. A relation is a subset of the Cartesian product of a collection of sets. You can define all relational database operations in terms of operations on set theoretic relations.
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