# do computer science majors need calculus

Calculus is useful for calculating rates of change, and so it's central to complex statistical analysis. Out of those, linear algebra turned out to be useful for computer graphics, and numerics turned out to be useful for high-performance computing. Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been, Perhaps you had a different experience, but I found calculus pretty useless for learning how to reason and explain arguments rigorously. Computer Science Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, researchers and practitioners of computer science. MathJax reference. education. This depends on your definitions, of course, and in most common definitions they are very closely related. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. Plus, things change in the industry. You seem to make the common mistake of assuming that the content of every course has to be relevant (for every career path). In the 80's my old school required a year of both, and only recently dropped Physics (now it's a year of any science). It's saying you need to math-up your freshmen with classes such as: Calculus. So, elementary calculus is useful for applications of rational thought to the real world - which CS folk do a lot of. Your first paragraph is completely wrong and bordering on conspiracy theory. I'll also note that you had a dilemma a while back about something you wanted to do with your advanced students that became more complicated because they hadn't had calculus. In functional languages a common definition of a list (given in Haskell here) is this: This says that a list is either empty or a tuple of a value and another list. In today's global economy, it is likely that one will switch employers and job specializations multiple times in one's career. Why do the mountain people make roughly spherical houses? You need a good survey of knowledge on damn near everything, and this goes double for math. If you know automata this pdf might be worth reading. It is all tied together by the Fundamental Theorem. I'll note that some of the things you learn in elementary calculus are in your "answer 1" list: sets, logic, especially quantifiers, and proofs. rev 2020.11.24.38066, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Computer Science Educators Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. We wanted to since our students didn't need it, but we couldn't do it. Talk to all those people who think that knowing states and capitals is important. In a visual novel game with optional sidequests, how to encourage the sidequests without requiring them? AI - The basics of AI can be utilized without calculus; however, calculating advanced behavior, swarm intelligence/hive minds, and complex values based decision making. Many computer science programs require two or three calculus classes. However, if you want to be a top innovator in computing, that's when you want to get that degree. Until RSA appeared and remade crypto. develop such mathematical maturity [...] early in a college-level Is there a name for this and is it necessarily problematic? I looked it up, though--my calculus is far too rusty to have handled the integration involved. They recommend Calculus in a round-about way. I don't see any differential calculus there; I see the word "derivative", but I don't see anything resembling traditional differential calculus. @Buffy I hadn't realized that those topics were taught in calculus. I'm wondering, how and when is calculus used in computer science? Any programming that requires obtaining expert domain knowledge outside of simple website design or business database programming and report prep is likely to bring you into contact with problems that require advanced math. Many people in programming can go their entire career without using calculus; however, it can prove invaluable if you're willing to do the work. Overlap between computer science and analytic geometry? Large 1/4 inch 45 degree chamfer router bit for cutting mitres. Economics, however, isn't just about money. I work in software engineering right now having graduated CS, but I work along side of other software engineers from various engineering degree programs, math degree programs, and science degree programs. Science & Engineering - When working with nearly any other scientific discipline requires calculus: Aerospace, Astrology, Biology, Chemistry, or Engineering. In my decades as a computer scientist, including in industry, I never used any of what I learned in the required calculus (I, II, and III), linear algebra, or differential equations. site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. not as a means for domain knowledge, but more as a method for helping The Bachelor of Arts (BA) program at Mills College, where I teach, does not require calculus. I remember being quite impressed at the time, because no, I hadn't used it in any of my prior CS classes. That said, they did give me the background to go into computer graphics, electrical engineering, or machine learning, had I later chosen to. Now if we differentiate this, we get an interesting result: $$\frac{\partial L(a)}{\partial a} = (L(a))^2$$. How to golf evaluation of math expression in MySQL? Marginal analysis require examining rates of change, which is made a lot easier with calculus. About twenty-five years into my career, I found myself interfacing to domain specialists whose bread and butter are differential equations. Physics was special the same way. But given my strong interest in programming languages and software engineering I sure. When change depends on change in any system, it starts to be unstable (and stable) in ways which are both non-intuitive and very well understood. Logistics and Risk analysis - Determining whether a task is possible, the risk involved, and possible rate of success. These types look like normal algebraic expressions and we can, in fact, manipulate them as such (to a point). If you want to do programming related to financial instruments (like I did at another job, working at CRD on their investment management system), calculus is heavily involved. It's certainly of little use in CS fields which centre on databases, OSes, general PC applications, and anything like that. What framework or methodology would you recommend for a Data Science team? This is where the differentiation comes in to play. It turns out Calc is special since the Math Dept. $\begingroup$ Depending on your degree program, you could complete a degree without ever using calculus, and I definitely think CS majors don't need as much of it as we get. @tfrascaroli Indeed. On the other hand, it was the prerequisite to several higher math classes that. it is these continuous functions that form the basis of understanding a lot of the applications of both math and CS. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. $$L(a) = 1 + a + a^2 + a^3 * (1 + a * L(a))$$, $$L(a) = 1 + a + a^2 + a^3 + a^4 + a^5...$$, Given the "list" nature of this question, every answer should attempt to give the full picture. There's plenty of time to be a web developer once you graduate; while in school, why not try to push yourself a little? It's good general mathematical training, which is helpful to learn to think rigorously about other topics later on. Now Chemistry is a Noble subject (pun intended), worthy of study, but probably not vital to a typical CS degree holder.

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