Would learning a coding language be bad...

Discussion in 'Rendering Technology and APIs' started by BlueTsunami, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. BlueTsunami

    BlueTsunami I laugh at you! HA HA HA!
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    ...if you had a slight hatred of math? I've recently had my interest piqued by the "What is the best language to learn how to Program?" thread. I have a feeling that this is a interest thats going to get squashed in this thread. Also...even if math is a big part of it...maybe I can slowly learn a language and start to love math a little (wishfull thinking?)...hmmm...what are your thoughts?

    PS: Wasn't shure how much of the Thread title would fit...so snipped it off a little :)
     
  2. ERP

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    Sure...
    Math is not a requirement for programming.

    Having said that my math skills are well above average and I find that invaluable. In fact if I could do it again I'd do my degree in math instead of CompSci. IME it's not like I do much math day to day, but often enough it is an indispensible skill.

    If your not involved in graphics it's somewhat less important. Having said that for almost any modern game programming your going to want at least a basic understanding of linear algebra.
     
  3. Inane_Dork

    Inane_Dork Rebmem Roines
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    You can do a fair amount of coding and never get beyond addition and multiplication. The flipside to that is that the math is often very precise. So if you don't want to do math at all, off-by-one errors are going to kill you. If you're only averse to higher level math, then you could probably become somewhat proficient at programming (provided you do not delve into a math heavy application).

    In my limited experience, programming is more about logic than math. So basic math is required, but it's more about getting from here to there that's the core of programming. Unfortunately for you, the closest analogies, IMO, to this process are all from math (geometric proofs and calculus).

    I should mention that logic is important in constructing code but invaluable in debugging it. So there's more to it than just writing it.
     
  4. Saem

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    The easiest way to love math is to read about it's rich history, there are many struggles for the sake of math.

    I'd suggest grabbing a calculus, linear algebra, and discrete mathematics text. Make sure all the ones you get have micro-history lessons injected into them. Then just start going through them on your own a chapter at a time. Be sure to talk to a friendly math guru/teacher about what you've learned -- it's more important than asking about what you're struggling with.
     
  5. darkblu

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    there's a very minimal chance that one would dislike _all_ of the different branches and applications of math - if you delve wide enough in the mathematics universe you'd surely come across something that'd be of high enough interest to you that you'd spend enough time to study it and get familiar with it to the point that you would start looking at the other banches of math more favourably :wink:

    oh, and what Saem says is very true too - particularly the part where you should focus (and expand) on the things you know rather than those you don't.
     
    #5 darkblu, Aug 15, 2005
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  6. Intel17

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    When I initially started coding I didn't have much mathematical knowledge beyond algebra (I'm 14, and unfortunately my school doesn't focus on teaching to the interested, but watering it down so people with little interest could do well), but after I started getting proficient at the language and doing lots of neat apps demonstrating C++ features, I decided that I should try to fulfill my dream of becoming a graphics programmer.

    However, I didn't have sufficient mathematical background to start, so I became familliar with trigonometry and some geometry, and then soon after that I picked up a book on Direct3D9, which had a very nice introduction to vectors, matricies (programming helped when learning these...they were essentially arrays), planes and how to use them in D3D.

    Basically if you want to do coding that involves physics or graphics (really intensive math), then you'd better love math, or else. However if you want to do other aspects of game (or even non-game) coding, I'm sure math will play a less significant role.

    EDIT: I'm curious, what programming language do you intend to start with?
     
    #6 Intel17, Aug 17, 2005
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  7. BlueTsunami

    BlueTsunami I laugh at you! HA HA HA!
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    Well the general thoughts in the other thread state Pascal. I'm planning to pick up a book from my local bookstore next week (pay week!). I'm currently setting up a Mac with Virtual PC for the time being (Virtual PC 7 :) )...maybe that will come in handy..so i'll have a Windows OS on hand.
     
  8. NRP

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    On the contrary, I think learning to program can really pique your interest in math (especially learning to program 3D graphics). For example, I took Linear Algebra in college, and I got nothing from it. It was so abstract and seemingly so divorced from practical application that it became just another hurdle on my way to an engineering degree.

    Years later I became interested in game programming as a hobby and, low and behold, Linear Algebra does indeed have a very interesting practical application - 3D graphics. Now, I am relearning it as I explore simple 3D programming and I'm having a lot of fun with it.

    My advice is to go ahead with it and don't worry about the math because you'll learn (or relearn) what you need along the way. Only this time it will be in a much more interesting context.
     
  9. Killer-Kris

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    Programming w\o math is no problem!

    I think I have a slightly different take on this than most everyone else here it seems. I actually started programming to get out of doing work on my math classes. I was the one kid in class that everyone either hated because with in a day or two of a new subject I had programmed my Ti82 to do it for me, or they loved me because I always shared my programs. So I don't think you have to be good at math to program. As a matter of fact learning to program I think can only help people, especially if they have an aversion to math like I did/do.
     
  10. nutball

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    Well I think others have made most of the following points, but I'll add my €0.02 anyway. It's quite possible to become a very comptent programmer and know almost no maths (or know maths, but hate doing it).

    What's more important is the ability to analyse problems, break them down into their component sub-problems, and assemble solutions. So analytical thinking is much more important than maths.

    If you don't have a semi-decent maths background then certain areas of programming will be off-limits (3D being one of them), but then I found that having a programming project that I wanted to do was a great way to learn maths. I learned a lot more about vectors and matrices from doing 3D programming than I ever did in maths class. Maths is taught in a very abstract way, whereas a programming project can be a practical application of the maths and can be a very good way to learn.

    (I still hate maths, even though it can be a big chunk of my day job. I need a new day job!).
     
  11. KimB

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    Well, I would say that mathematics and programming require a lot of the same thought processes (particularly higher math), so it really depends upon why you don't like math.
     
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