xeys_00 wrote:

I decided I need to understand math more to help me with programming.

Not to mention, eventually in my degree plan I will need to do it

anyway. How much math have people in this forum taken, and how much has

it helped thier programming?

Xeys

As everyone says, it depends what you want to do, though I do think that

developing the skills of mathematical reasoning is quite generally

useful to the task of program design. I've always seen a definite

parallel between structuring a mathematical proof and structuring an

algorithm or program.

Personally, I had a pretty strong math background before I began any

computer science, and this led me naturally to the study of algorthms

and complexity. Since this is much of what I do professionally, it was

a logical path. Moreover, the people who struggle with these subjects

are quite often the ones who lack mathematical experience, so this is

something to bear in mind if you plan to follow this route.

Regardless of application, all programmers need a certain mathematical

facility to evaluate the trade-offs of varying design choices. However

for the most part this is pretty basic stuff. You don't need linear

algebra to understand the difference between O(n^2) and O(n log n).

So what's the upshot of all this? If you want to work in a specialized

area, graphics or numerics, e.g., then of course you need to take the

relevant specialized math courses. Otherwise, concentrate on discrete

math (I believe that's what it's commonly called), which covers most of

the basics necessary to be a mathetmatically-competent programmer. If

you have time, take a theoretical treatment of linear algebra, in part

because it has a good number of practical uses, and also because it will

hone your logical thought process.