Math In Programming: Necessary Or Not?

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Do You Need To Learn Math To Be A Programmer?

This was a very interesting question I got from one of Simple Programmer readers… Do you need to learn math to be a programmer?

Is math really that necessary for programmers? Will you be a bad programmer if you don’t know math? In what ways math can help you as a programmer and developer?

Watch this video to find out.

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27 Comments on “Math In Programming: Necessary Or Not?”

  1. I majored in mathematics, and I use programming a lot. Back in the late 1980s when I was taking Algebra, my teacher forced us to use computers to solve problems. Using a computer to program stuff really helps you in the math and science field. It is a prerequisites for all math and science majors to take a programming class at the university/college. It is also a prerequisites for all math and science majors to take Calculus I to 3, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations in the 1st two years. Being able to solve complex mathematical problems really helps you develops your problem solving skills, and think that is why all science majors including computer science majors have to take these courses.

  2. Exactly! Math is a tool that solves problems. Depending on the problems you face in your work you may need it or you don't. Chances are that you are not writing serious software if you are not using math.

  3. Jonh, I bet you know Programming but you never knew math at all.
    As much as i know discrete math is the only math programmers need to know. Things like, number theory, combinatorics, discrete probability, graph theory. But Calculus ? Man , give me a break,!!! please.
    The only branch of calculus students really need to know as a programmer are stuff like limits, summations, series, surely not beyond that.
    I saw in one of your videos that you finished CS degree, which this video makes me doubt your words a lot. Sorry for being so frank with you.

  4. If you know how to reason mathematically, as math is the science of the complex thought, you will most definitely have a larger perspective on everything around you. The sooner you admit this, the better.

  5. I hate maths but want to test game engine ill never learn maths i just hate it but love the art in games.

  6. In your opinion do you think that being good in math is a vital part in being a successful Comp Sci Student? I'm a programming hobbyist and I've been working on a small scale Android game for the past few months. I've taken a real enjoyment to coding and programming. I'm wanting to further my education in computer programming and potentially get a job in the video game industry as an entry level programmer upon finishing my degree. Through all the research I've done I've come to find that most Programmers for mid-level and AAA companies started there journey with a Comp Sci degree. I've always had an aptitude for computers but Math never was my strong suit. I was pretty much a D and C student in all my math classes throughout high school. I know that when it comes to coding and programming specifically that math is not a super huge part but I like the idea of the broad spectrum of jobs that comes with a Comp Sci degree. Most of the prereqs for a Comp Sci degree consist of Calculus, and Physics. I am passionate about becoming a game developer but I am also weary that I may be in over my head pursuing a Comp Sci degree when my skills in math are sub-par. I also dropped out of High School and got my GED. it's been since 2014 that I was in school. I know I'm gonna have some catching up to do. I essentially just want to know what would you do in my position?

  7. To me it's this simple.

    If you want to be a web developer, game developer, database administrator, etc… The most math you'll GENERALLY need is Algebra 2 (College algebra). Game devs probably want some understanding of physics depending on what they're doing.

    If you want to solve problems and influence new technology, your math better be spot on. Most of today's relevant problems are hyper-dimensional and involve huge amounts of data points. Neural networks in AI and multi-variable calculus in ML (not to mention the ridiculous amount of high-level statistics depending on your problems) just to name two.

    Just figure out what you have a passion for. Once you know a language pretty well (you'll never know it fully it's impossible) your only limitations are your colleagues (business environment) and your understanding of the problem at hand. So the question is: what problems do you want to solve?

  8. But I feel like it should be necessary. Then you'd get more money as a software developer since alot of people do not know higher level of maths, especially combined with programming.

  9. Short answer yes if you want to do anything that requires display output then you're probably going to run into some form of math even if it's not numbers

  10. I hated math, like totally hated, I believed I just don't have the brain cells for it. Ten years forward – Now I have been learning programming for almost a year and I totally love it. While practicing various simple algorithms I came to this crazy suicide idea – let's try to brush of the dust and try some math, just out of curiosity. I came to really like it. Programming is thinking. Math is also thinking. So I found them to be intertwined. And Khan Academy happens to be just the place for learning math.

  11. With all due respect to what you used to do, I find it quite ironic how some programmers don't like math, considering that in my opinion at least, programming is 100x harder than algebra and geometry. I even find precalculus and statistics easier than programming, and I had a hard time understanding those classes (I never took calculus so idk anything about it)

  12. You don't need math to learn to code. But since the majority people who learn to code are only average in math, you'll be unique and a wanted developer in the programming world.

  13. If someone was expressing an interest in programming, but has a math aversion, I would look into why that is.
    More often than not, it's because of a bad experience in their past – usually from a bad teacher 🙁
    All it takes is to miss a critical step or 2, and understanding of subsequent material may be next-to-impossible.
    Fortunately nowadays we had things like Khan Academy, where one may self-test and find out where the gaps are…
    …I (re)started with Kindegarten-level Math on KA, have quickly reached factoring quadratics, and am finding it very confidence-building.

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