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Math and CS

Redfire

and Blood
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Today, 17:35
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Jan 10, 2011
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Ok, so when I was young I liked math and was very proficient in it, but I had awful teachers in high school and started to focus on other subjects. Now I concluded that I want to study Computer Science, and math is totally crucial.

I still like math, but I like to read everything several times and slowly, so I truly learn and understand the concepts completely. Only then I truly know what I'm doing, in high school math I feel like I'm just going through the motions and I hate that.

I suspect this is a common INTP trait, and would like to ask for any online material or book you know about math, and I'd like it to at least start from scratch, explaining everything. I usually google anything I don't fully understand in a book, but if the book is designed to learn everything in an INTP friendly way (namely truly comprehensive) it would be a major plus. I have some months till I start college so I have time now, and also the first year is really basic (we have epistemology, basic math, basic algebra, basic chemistry, basic physics, etc) in the university I'm going to so I have a full year till I start with the complex math and CS subjects.

By the way, do any of you relate to what I'm talking about? I mean, I know you do but did anyone did what I want to do? Maybe I'm delusional but I'm thinking that by complementing my college education I should be able to truly understand everything I'm taught and actually be interested in it. I only remember things I'm truly interested in and I have a hard time spending time on the trivial stuff I'm taught.

But maybe I'm wrong and I'm doomed to find institutional education dull and meaningless. Either way I feel CS is the best possible career for me (even if I find it dull I could get a job and find it at least tolerable).


So, I could've made this shorter and just ask for stuff but I feel it can promote a valuable topic. So if you have any material you recommend me, advice, opinion, etc; just post it. It could be valuable not just for me but for any INTP in a similar situation.


By the way, I'm not sure Science&Technology is the best section but it seemed like the best fit.
 

A22

occasional poster
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I though this would be about Counter Strike
 

Felan

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Trig, Calculus, Partial Differential and above were mind-blowing (euphoric really) courses to me and I think the value they bring is more than worth the effort. So much so that I honestly think much of it should be covered to a greater degree for all high school students.

The importance of the math to a typical CS graduate is by the mean average, pretty minimal. The vast bulk of the work has been making computers friendly to the non-CS.

So as you learn the mathematics, I would say look not just at the math but at the process or way of thinking about math. That will help you greatly even if you never touch math more complicated than rudimentary algebra later on.
 

sammael

Adrift
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By the way, do any of you relate to what I'm talking about? I mean, I know you do but did anyone did what I want to do? Maybe I'm delusional but I'm thinking that by complementing my college education I should be able to truly understand everything I'm taught and actually be interested in it. I only remember things I'm truly interested in and I have a hard time spending time on the trivial stuff I'm taught.

But maybe I'm wrong and I'm doomed to find institutional education dull and meaningless. Either way I feel CS is the best possible career for me (even if I find it dull I could get a job and find it at least tolerable).
I think it's a great idea, complementing education and taking time to understand content properly. A lot of tertiary education is just about how much an individual can remember over a brief period of time, and it's quite possible to pass and do well and then just forget everything (I am somewhat guilty of this:o). Makes me question what a qualification really means.

But anyway, I've found what you're proposing to do helpful, if a little unorthodox. This past year I returned to university, and after the first few weeks, I only occasionally went to classes. Granted, what I am doing is fairly basic, but I found the classes/lectures much too slow and tedious, and I didn't really have the opportunity to go into depth on concepts that may have not been necessary, but that interested me and would help with my understanding. I did most of my work at home, where I could go at my own pace, and I could investigate further those things I wished to. I found my understanding and retainment was far better this way, and had much greater depth. I suspect too, that this is more of an INTP way of learning, and I say do what suits you.

I also kind of didn't really focus on math much in high school, and have been considering doing something similar over the summer break to brush up. I don't specifically need math, but I've found it can be useful, in particular algebra and (simpler) equations. Thanks to anybody for links.
 

sammael

Adrift
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Trig, Calculus, Partial Differential and above were mind-blowing (euphoric really) courses to me and I think the value they bring is more than worth the effort. So much so that I honestly think much of it should be covered to a greater degree for all high school students.
I don't disagree, but I question the capability/maturity of high school students to handle this. I know for myself I was never particularly interested in math, as many others weren't either, although perhaps the way it is taught has a lot to do with this. I wish now I had have put more attention in to subjects like math or science, and made a bit more use of high school, but I guess that's easy to do in retrospect.
 

The_Journey

Redshirt
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7
Ok, so when I was young I liked math and was very proficient in it, but I had awful teachers in high school and started to focus on other subjects. Now I concluded that I want to study Computer Science, and math is totally crucial.

I still like math, but I like to read everything several times and slowly, so I truly learn and understand the concepts completely. Only then I truly know what I'm doing, in high school math I feel like I'm just going through the motions and I hate that.

I suspect this is a common INTP trait, and would like to ask for any online material or book you know about math, and I'd like it to at least start from scratch, explaining everything. I usually google anything I don't fully understand in a book, but if the book is designed to learn everything in an INTP friendly way (namely truly comprehensive) it would be a major plus. I have some months till I start college so I have time now, and also the first year is really basic (we have epistemology, basic math, basic algebra, basic chemistry, basic physics, etc) in the university I'm going to so I have a full year till I start with the complex math and CS subjects.

By the way, do any of you relate to what I'm talking about? I mean, I know you do but did anyone did what I want to do? Maybe I'm delusional but I'm thinking that by complementing my college education I should be able to truly understand everything I'm taught and actually be interested in it. I only remember things I'm truly interested in and I have a hard time spending time on the trivial stuff I'm taught.

But maybe I'm wrong and I'm doomed to find institutional education dull and meaningless. Either way I feel CS is the best possible career for me (even if I find it dull I could get a job and find it at least tolerable).


So, I could've made this shorter and just ask for stuff but I feel it can promote a valuable topic. So if you have any material you recommend me, advice, opinion, etc; just post it. It could be valuable not just for me but for any INTP in a similar situation.


By the way, I'm not sure Science&Technology is the best section but it seemed like the best fit.
First, what college are you attending that starts in a couple months? Every college that I know of starts the next semester in Jan / Feb.

Most college allows you to take placement tests so you can test out of taking basic math and starts at Calculus 1.

In fact, most college takes the Advance Placement Classes from high school for credits, most high schools have Calculus AB and BC, did you try taking those in your high school?

I took Computer Science (C++) for my first year and let me tell you, it had nothing to do with math. You only start going into the math when you're taking algorithm and data structures courses, and even then it's nothing you can't learn on the spot.

Do even you know what "complex" math and CS topics you're talking about?

Education is what you make out of it. If you try to focus on your classes and not going online to rant about your life, you might actually get some value out of it.
 

Dapper Dan

Did zat sting?
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The math requirements for a CS degree are actually somewhat low. Probably the only thing you'll need to do at above a high school level is Discrete Math, which is an INTP's dream course. Things like Calc and Trig get very little use.

The only other thing I remember using is Linear Algebra, and that was for a single Graphics course.
 

Redfire

and Blood
Local time
Today, 17:35
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
413
Thanks for the replies, and since I'm from Argentina (Buenos Aires) college works very differently here. Computer science is a 6-year career, and most people take about 8 years to finish it. But, if you do everything right, you have 3 month vacations every summer (although most people spend that time studying what they failed during the year).

The content is actually much more difficult than most American universities, and we have pretty heavy math. Actually, the first year of the actual career (as I said the first year is pretty basic) is basically applied math.

Not to mention education here is free and public, and you don't need high school grades to get in (that's the purpose of the basic year, learn what you probably missed in high school). Too bad we don't have enough money (or motivation or good politicians) to promote significant research (most people study and then go do research at USA/Europe, which is a pretty good deal for you all. I'm actually considering this path myself).


Anyhow, back to the topic, I'll try to learn math on my own and see what I get from it. I guess the only way to prove if it's possible/helpful is to try, but I'm glad it sounds reasonable: that's where I was aiming at.
 
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