anonymous
  • anonymous
must i be a mathematics guru before i can be a good programmer?
MIT 6.00 Intro Computer Science (OCW)
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katieb
  • katieb
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anonymous
  • anonymous
@babsjaey that's a complicated question. You can learn programming - for instance, the Python language taught in this class with a minimal knowledge of mathematics. However, you can know the language inside-out but, in the end, the complexity of the programs you can write will be limited by your knowledge of mathematics. This isn't because programming "requires" mathematics beyond basic math (addition, multiplication, setting a variable equal to a value, etc. It's because in order to write a program to solve a problem, you must first know how to solve the problem. For instance: You don't need to know any math to write a program that will ask a user for their name and say hello to them - because saying "What's your name" and "Hello" is something you, personally, know how to do - and it doesn't require any math. Now, if you want to write a program that will let someone enter the starting balance for their checkbook, then input the amount every time they make a deposit or withdrawal, and keep a running total of their balance ... you need to first know how to add and subtract so that you can add and subtract the deposits and withdrawals. You have to first know the math necessary to balance a checkbook before you can write a program to do the same. Similarly, if you want to write a program that does any other kind of math calculation, you need first to know how to do that calculation yourself ... because how can you instruct the computer to do it if you don't know what to tell the computer to do? There are other intricacies once you become advanced in programming, like benchmarking and algorithm optimization which require math ... but you'll have that figured out by the time you get there and I don't want to scare you off early. For now though. For this class: You should practice enough math that you understand how to do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and know how to find the remainder if you're dividing whole numbers. And, if you ever have a question about the math, just ask in here ... someone will help you.
anonymous
  • anonymous
not necessarily - but you must be able to think logically and abstractly, which mathematics provides ample practice
anonymous
  • anonymous
PreCalculus is a prerequisite for this course.

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anonymous
  • anonymous
it is not mandatory
anonymous
  • anonymous
I hope PreCalculus isn't a prerequisite because I'm entering grade 11 this year and I'm about half way done the 6.00SC.
anonymous
  • anonymous
Well, I was just saying that because it is the expected math level at the start of the course not because it meant someone couldn't learn to program without it. The first time I tried the course my math needed a little..... a little brushing up, so I can relate to how tricky this course could be without it.
anonymous
  • anonymous
oh ok that makes sense @mkinnes, I'm just saying it's possible to do the course without a huge knowledge of math, and if you don't understand something, you can just look it up. for example in Lecture 15: Statistical Thinking (2011 course) , I struggled a little with the standard deviation formula (not that I usually struggle with math , especially formulas , I think the summer is getting to me xP )but after looking at the code and looking it up I was golden!

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