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Old 09-15-2004, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Wales, UK, Europe, Earth, Milky Way, Universe
Maths In CompSci

I'll be heading off to university next week to start a computer science degree course and since i'm not going straight after finishing school (i worked for 3 years afterwards) i've forgotten a lot of the math that we were taught. I have been teaching myself bits of theory about lots of areas of computers (programming, web design, scripting, genetic algorithms, design patterns, compilers, DBs etc) in my spare time but i havent had the opportunity or the reasons to keep my mathematics skills in good form.

I was just wondering if any of you could give me some tips about what kind of mathematics i should brush up on to make it easier for me in uni. Things i'm looking for are areas of mathematics (trig, calculus etc) and how advanced my knowledge of them should be. Some examples of how they fit into computer science would be great too.

I've always hated being second best so any tips for excelling in this area and graduate with flying colours would be amazing too
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Alexandria, VA
In my studies, we are required to take Calculus 1, 2, and 3, as well as Linear Algebra and Differential Equations.

There are also a lot of "math logic" style courses in the CS department.

You shouldn't worry too much about forgetting them, as assuming it's a standard four year university, you'll be entering with the freshmen, taking all of the introductory courses with them, including the "Hi, this is programming" and "Hi, we realize you spent your summer drunk underage, here's Calculus" courses.
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Wales, UK, Europe, Earth, Milky Way, Universe
Well its kind of a 3 yr BSc course (here in the UK). I sincerely hope they dont start programming from absolute scratch.. that'd bore me. There's only so many languages you can do the "Hello World!" program in before it starts getting old hehe. Sooo... calculus, algebra and differential equations. Doesn't sound too bad. Thanks pragma

Has anyone here done CS in the UK and can add anything to what Pragma said?
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here in Canada it may be different. I'd say brush up on discrete math, like discrete probability, combinatorics, and solving problems using recursive algorithms, and like Pragma said, linear algebra and basic calculus. Depending on the flavour of comp sci you may want to considering looking at numerical methods to solve differential equations (and line fitting, that sort of thing).

Have fun!
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks phukraut
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Old 09-15-2004, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Poland, Ohio // Clarion University of PA.
Damn, having to take Calc 1, 2, 3 and Differential Equations... sucks for you!

We just had to take Calc 1 and Discrete Mathematics...

So far we've had little to no math in any freshman up to 1st semester sophmore stuff,
but I'm sure that will changeth.
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Old 09-15-2004, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Itll really depend on what branch of compsci you go into... There is going to be a good bit of math every major will need, but I know that for example here at UNC, the CS majors with emphasis in graphics have to take a shit ton of linear algebra courses.
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Old 09-18-2004, 04:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mine was one of the first undergraduate Cognative Sciences degress. About half of my "CompSci" classes were in the philosophy department, and about 3/4 of those were logic classes. They helped ... a lot.

I have yet to see a real CompSci program that didn't require Calculus (which means advanced algebra, trig, and geometry.)
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