Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boolean_algebra_(logic [Broken])

    Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  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


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    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.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook