On Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM, Josh Cheek <josh.cheek / gmail.com> wrote:

>
> Now, while I'm unimpressed with other people telling you to go learn math
> and Scheme and go to school, there is a good point behind their suggestio=
ns
> that learning about Rails doesn't constitute learning how to program. So =
you
> need to challenge yourself to learn problem solving techniques. You can u=
se
> math to do this, but I'm suspicious as to whether this is necessary. My
> experience was that it took an exorbitant amount of time, with a lot of t=
hat
> spent learning the math rather than the problem solving, and now it has b=
een
> a couple of years and I don't remember any of it. If the only lasting thi=
ng
> that math has to offer is problem solving, then I suspect you can use
> programming instead (you will have to push yourself).

Heck, maths offers more than problem solving skills.

Let's take three examples, out of different mathematical fields (all
of this is Maths for Engineers 101):

1) Enterprise resource management (solving linear equations; vectorial math=
s).
Let it be given that you need 2x, 4y, and 7z to produce a given item.
Let it be given that the parts cost: x =3D .03, y =3D .25, z =3D 1.00.
Let it be given that there is a demand of 1000 for your product.
Let it be given that you can produce .2 items per day, and production
of an item costs .50 USD.

How many x, y, and z do you need to produce 1000 pieces?
What is the minimum cost of your product?
What is the maximum price you can demand and still sell 500 items?
How long will it take you to produce the items?

2) Electrical Engineering (complex numbers).
Given are two harmonic fluctuations of identical frequency (that's an
exam question at my engineering college, BTW):
y1 =3D 4 * sin(2t + 45=BA)
y2 =3D 3 * cos(2t + 60=BA)

What's their superposition?

3) SQL's JOIN (set theory).
What's the intersection of the sets {1,2,3,5,6} and {1,2,4,6}?


Point being: maths is applied to real problems, that you have to deal
with. Of course, if all you ever do is create a blogging engine, then
you won't need any maths at all (that is, if you blindly trust that
your SQL engine does the real thing, and that your assumption of what
kind of join you want is always correct).

But once you want to solve the sort of problems people offer you money
to solve, you *will* need maths.

--=20
Phillip Gawlowski

Though the folk I have met,
(Ah, how soon!) they forget
When I've moved on to some other place,
There may be one or two,
When I've played and passed through,
Who'll remember my song or my face.