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

Need help for my math

  1. Dec 18, 2009 #1
    OK I got my overall final grade in Calculus II. It is pretty low, only 80% and really made me wanna blame myself for not really studying on my finals because I had a bunch of work to do the week after. I studied for many hours the day after, but it is really bad idea for me to study the day after the exam.

    Now, there are no more math offered for my course. I want to know how to improve my skills in math? Should I step backward and study college algebra again or move to the next? But what is that? Currently, I'm studying linear algebra and I'm on the vector spaces topics.

    btw, is 80% grade pretty low? I'm so worried that I might not get into computer graphics research on this kind of grade.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2009 #2
    This is actually a good idea, the most important thing is to understand what you did wrong so that you learn it for the later courses.
  4. Dec 18, 2009 #3
    It's a b/b-. That's fine. Not terrific, but not hideous. What aspect of graphics work are you doing? For the most part calc II doesn't even matter, linear algebra is much more important in graphics work.
    My experience with undergrad research is that if it's at your school, the professors don't ask for grades. They want to know that you've taken enough comp sci and math to be useful, that you're fairly competent, and that you're motivated. Helps if you stand out enough that they ask you to work for them/let you work for them.

    as long as you study before the exam, the more review of the material the better. Math is one of those subjects you only get better at by doing a zillion times.
  5. Dec 18, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Computer graphics makes use of a lot of math. Triangle rasterization uses calculus. Coordinate system transformations use linear algebra. If you want to write a good geometry engine then geometry beyond your standard euclidean stuff will be required: things like convex hull voronoi diagrams, barycentric coordinates, heaps of stuff.

    If you are going to do work with bezier curves or surfaces or even NURBs you will need to know multivariable and vector calculus well enough. This is also true for understanding
    how basic lighting works.

    If you are modelling light then radiosity and raytracing will be your friend if you're doing things like in say a pixar movie.

    BSP trees make good use of euclidean geometry where splitting planes need to be identified.

    You can learn computer graphics in a plug and chug way but if you are going to be really good at it, you need to understand the underlying math and the math extends beyond what you will find in an introductory calculus course.

    Theres a lot of books like the Graphics Gems series books that don't shy away from the math required.
  6. Dec 19, 2009 #5
    It's not after, it's before. lol

    Anyway, I remembered I told to myself last semester on my calculus 1 class that I really want to get 95% on my next class but I definitely failed. The exam is really easy except for the 3 problem. The first and second one is in trigonometric integrals and the third is in 1/(sqrt(function))^(function). And they are both 10 points each which will definitely fail to get a 80+ score.

    Now, I'm thinking on studying again my algebra. I don't if this the best way but is there any more advance level of algebra? I heard there's a algebra 2 but I don't have that class on my curriculum. The last math is this, calculus 2. It really sucks here in asia.

    Yeah, that's why I'm studying linear algebra first. Most of the people in gamedev.net told me that I should really know linear algebra first then move to vector calculus and more advanced concept to help me in 3d graphics. Others told me that I should study multivariate calculus first because that's the pre-requisite of linear algebra. But I try to get into linear algebra first and found no calc 3 concepts inside. Or maybe I'm wrong.

    So what should I do now to improve my math skills without any math class in the university?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook