# Re: Programming is the Engineering Discipline of the Science that is Mathematics

Date: 6 Jun 2006 06:42:59 -0700

Message-ID: <1149601379.805289.233340_at_y43g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>

Rich Ryan wrote:

> > > I think you need another glass of wine. Take a breath., Math is a

*> language
**> > > in which we ask questions and answer those questions. Math gets real
**> hard at
**> > > some point, and that's why many of us became computer science majors.
**> All we
**> > > needed was calculus 2.
**> >
**> > That is the stupidest thing I have ever seen posted in c.d.t, and I have
**> > seen some very stupid things posted here. Plonk!
**>
**> What I meant was at some point I could not hold a tough math problem in my
**> head. At that point I knew I was not going to be math guy. And I was in
**> graduate school, going for masters in math.
*

If the math gets "real hard," I don't think computer science is the place for you, though programming is populated by many who are uninterested or unskilled in math. I am working hard to educate myself; while my undergraduate computer major was "more mathematical" than most, after graduation a year of COBOL followed by years of Oracle, Microsoft technologies (Visual Basic), and now Java have eroded mathematical faculties I'm struggling to rebuild. My interest is strong, and my skills growing, but it's a lifetime commitment.

I don't think math is about "tough problems" per se. It's a state of mind, a determination to eradicate complexity as much as possible, requiring aesthetic judgment and hard-nosed pragmatism (to separate wheat from chaff when investigating technologies). You must have interest in more than just "making sh*t work" - that's the lowest denominator, not nearly enough for the intellectual task at hand, though enough to keep one employed, I suppose.

- Eric