darren kirby wrote:
> Very interesting. I find myself in exactly the same boat. I fell into my 
> love of computers/programming late in life (ie: after college), and I also 
> have a very weak background in math. I have found it had held me back a great 
> deal. Everytime I try to improve my math skills, I find myself having to 
> backtrack more and more because I am coming across concepts I just don't 
> understand until I find myself all the way back at the high school
> level<shudder>.

Yup, I feel you there. I've got a geometry book at home waiting eagerly 
awaiting to be cracked open.

> You can see this manifested in all my submissions to the Ruby Quiz, 
> which always run waaaaaaaay slower than everyone else's ;)

At least you're submitting to Ruby Quiz! I tried a few of them and 
they're pretty tough. So good work!

Robert Klemme wrote:
> While it is certainly a good thing to improve your knowledge of algebra,
> I suggest you also read a decent book on data structures and algorithms
> (Knut, Sedgewick or the like).  It's not so much mathematics you will
> learn from them but to analyze problems and find proper algorithms and
> data structures.  You'll learn why it is more efficient to use a Hash
> for lookups than traversing an array with key value pairs.  Things like
> that.  Hope that helps.

Actually, that does help. A lot. Thanks Robert. I shall seek and find on 
Amazon, and into my wish list shall those books go.

Thanks for the (extensive) response Mark, I appreciate it. Yes, you're 
absolutely right about understanding the nature of the problem before 
trying to solve it. I think I do a pretty good job of that -- I just 
have to remind myself that, eventually, I have to stop pondering and 
start writing.

I started laughing when I read your comment about my Hand object. My 
first iteration didn't have the Hand object, and it worked fine, but I 
knew I wanted to include it before I started the project, so in it went. 
It makes more sense to me that way.

I've always been into writing (fiction, mostly) and I gather my brain 
just "works that way," whereby stories make more sense than numbers.

I think I score okay on your first two skills for the ToH, but the 
third, recursion, has always been difficult for me, except when it's 
not. I understand iteration and nested iterations and when and how to 
use them, but I trip up when a method calls itself repeatedly.

Anywho, thanks for the awesome replies everyone -- you guys are great! 
:)

- Daniel

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