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# How are math and physics applied in computer science?

I heard that there are math and science involved in computer science, and I am wondering about its implications in the pathway. #computer-science

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# Fred’s Answer

It depends on your definition of math. I consider math to be about problem solving. You know some things, you want to show/prove/find something else from that in a logical, ordered way. You spend time analyzing the situation, breaking it down into smaller and smaller things that eventually you DO know how to solve.

That's exactly what you do when programming. I don't know how to code a database server web page. But i can look at that and say "well, i'll need a form to get the input, a database connection, a way to run queries, and a way to display the data". I don't know how to do any of those four things, but I can pick one, break it down into smaller pieces and see if I can solve those. If not, I pick one, break IT down, and keep repeating.

Math classes are like exercise for your brain. They teach you how to think, how to analyze problems.

Will you ever have to write code to solve differential equations? probably not. But the skills you pick up CAN be applied to programming.

That's exactly what you do when programming. I don't know how to code a database server web page. But i can look at that and say "well, i'll need a form to get the input, a database connection, a way to run queries, and a way to display the data". I don't know how to do any of those four things, but I can pick one, break it down into smaller pieces and see if I can solve those. If not, I pick one, break IT down, and keep repeating.

Math classes are like exercise for your brain. They teach you how to think, how to analyze problems.

Will you ever have to write code to solve differential equations? probably not. But the skills you pick up CAN be applied to programming.

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# Jim’s Answer

Great question! Math is inherent to computer science, but having fluid knowledge of advanced math equations or advanced calculus topics is not part of the day-to-day understanding of computer science – further clarification is below!

Think of math and science as tools on your toolbelts to better understand the core concepts of computer science. Using the scientific method to debug a piece of code can go a long way to solving your issue in a logical and straightforward way, but it's just an array of tools at your disposal.

The same goes with math, though this one is more dependent on specific aspects of computer science that are interesting to you. If machine learning and AI are interesting to you, having a solid grasp of Math is going to really aid your understanding of those advanced topics. If you think you'd just like to use a computer science degree to do web development, math is still important, but less impactful in your day-to-day role.

Think of math and science as tools on your toolbelts to better understand the core concepts of computer science. Using the scientific method to debug a piece of code can go a long way to solving your issue in a logical and straightforward way, but it's just an array of tools at your disposal.

The same goes with math, though this one is more dependent on specific aspects of computer science that are interesting to you. If machine learning and AI are interesting to you, having a solid grasp of Math is going to really aid your understanding of those advanced topics. If you think you'd just like to use a computer science degree to do web development, math is still important, but less impactful in your day-to-day role.

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# Akiva’s Answer

Tech work seems to follow a few different tracks. Computer Science and Information Technology are the primaries. Computer Science tracks involve a fair amount of math, and begin to relate that math to applicable computer knowledge such as binary and hexadecimal, and some engineering to understand how underlying hardware is doing its job. This is particularly relevant for those who go into embedded systems programming - these are people who are writing the programs running on chips that are operating devices. Information Technology or Information Systems often has minimal math and focuses more on data structures, business processes and accounting. CS assumes the professional may be working on very technical systems, IT assumes the professional will be working on business process oriented systems. In reality, people often move back and forth between the areas - although you'll rarely find Information Tech people working in areas such as voice recognition or vision systems - where the math and algorithmic efforts are high.

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# Ramesh’s Answer

As noted in Fred's and Jim's answers Math classes teach you problem solving to frame a problem, reason about solution/proof, and arrive at a conclusion. The problem solving skills are directly applicable to day to day software development; your client/customer has a problem which you have to frame, arrive at a solution for it, explain it, and then implement the solution as software.

There are several areas of Computer Science where Math skills are directly applicable.

ML/AI - Linear Algebra, Multivariate Calculus, Statistics foundations is required - two course sequences on Coursera give you an idea of Math for ML/AI - https://www.coursera.org/specializations/mathematics-machine-learning#courses , https://www.coursera.org/specializations/mathematics-for-data-science#courses .

Software Development in areas such as Graphics and Animation (Computational Geometry - Geometry, Physics of movement, Physiology of humans and animals), Computational Physics, Computational Engineering topic such as Fluid Dynamics (airflow of a airplane), Building Structure Design etc. applies math skills directly.

There are several areas of Computer Science where Math skills are directly applicable.

ML/AI - Linear Algebra, Multivariate Calculus, Statistics foundations is required - two course sequences on Coursera give you an idea of Math for ML/AI - https://www.coursera.org/specializations/mathematics-machine-learning#courses , https://www.coursera.org/specializations/mathematics-for-data-science#courses .

Software Development in areas such as Graphics and Animation (Computational Geometry - Geometry, Physics of movement, Physiology of humans and animals), Computational Physics, Computational Engineering topic such as Fluid Dynamics (airflow of a airplane), Building Structure Design etc. applies math skills directly.