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Dec 28th, 2010, 7:33 PM  #1 
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How does Discrete math apply to programming?
Hello everyone,
If this is in the wrong forum I apologize and will move if needed. I am enrolled at an online college to be a software system engineer and have just finished my first programming class, which was just basically writing simple pseudocode algorithms. My next course is discrete math (starting Jan. 3) and I just received a 700 page textbook for a 5 1/2 week course. I am wondering what sections of that book I should be concentrating on? The book is "Discrete Mathematics" by Richard Johnsonbaugh. I understand without seeing the book it would be nearly impossible to answer my question. So, I am just wanting to know in general, what discrete math is and what it has to do with programming? Until a few months ago I had never heard of discrete math. I made a 98 in college algebra and asked that Professor about discrete math. She said it would be easier than the algebra, but from the material in this book, I somehow doubt it! Obviously, they can not cover the whole book in less than six weeks, so any help narrowing it down to the parts that involve programming would be greatly appreciated. 
Dec 28th, 2010, 7:56 PM  #2 
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Re: How does Discrete math apply to programming?
Interesting question.
I'd guess graph theory would be a big part of it's application to programming, since graphs are used a great deal to represent the nature of a problem, in programming. Far more info than I could give you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrete_mathematics 
Dec 29th, 2010, 11:08 AM  #3  
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Re: How does Discrete math apply to programming?
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It would take years to absorb all the stuff in this book, which would be fine if it wasn't a six week course. I am wondering what I am actually going to learn in six weeks that will help me with programming! My previous pseudocode class was 3 months, and although I am still lost when it comes to programming, I did learn quite a bit. 

Dec 29th, 2010, 11:20 AM  #4 
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Re: How does Discrete math apply to programming?
Well, you should be lost when it comes to programming if you took a pseudocode class. That was a two day topic in my basic C++ class I took. What you'll learn in 6 weeks is the very basics of discrete math that you can then take and further learn the more advanced concepts and apply it to realworld problems. It sounds like it's going to take a bit of dedication on your part to learn as much as you can in those 6 weeks and I wish you the best of luck doing so.

Dec 29th, 2010, 12:13 PM  #5  
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Re: How does Discrete math apply to programming?
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Dec 30th, 2010, 1:04 AM  #6 
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Re: How does Discrete math apply to programming?
Yeah I had to take a college puesocode class first also before I could start learning real programming languages (also a algebra class), it is a waste of time. I asked why they did not offer a C++ class and my instructor said because then there would only be like 5 to 6 students for the class. In high school I never got past prealgebra class but was scoring A's in a advanced computer programming class doing turbo pascal lol
Some things I think math would help with though would be to cut down the amount of lines of code you have to write because you know how to write algerbra equations and formulas well, or maybe for game design and 3d animations and stuff. 
Dec 30th, 2010, 6:35 PM  #7 
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Re: How does Discrete math apply to programming?
The one thing I do know is that if it has to be called math, "discrete" is probably the right name for it. Although, "statistical geometry" may work as well. It isn't like any math I have taken before, but I will survive it!
I just can't wait until July when I start my first Java class. 
Dec 31st, 2010, 12:07 AM  #8 
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Re: How does Discrete math apply to programming?
Guess what?! I've studied Discrete Maths for 3 months now, and it's really really interesting. I studied a book on Discrete Maths written by Ralph P. Grimaldi. The beauty of this book is that, after an explanation of concepts, the author gives real world applications of it. With these examples, you'll get to know how dependent Computers are, on Discrete Maths.
For instance, in encryption, a concept called Rings is used, which in turn depends on Euclid's algorithm, the Prime Division algorithm, etc. I even managed to make a C program (from scratch), using the same concepts. If you're interested, you can check my program here: http://rvcecsb2013.blogspot.com/2010...tasource.html The program isn't that great or anything, but I had a lot of fun creating it....and it helped me learn a lot. :) The other Discrete Mathematical Concepts that helped me in making this program were Mathematical Logic, Sets, Groups, Permutations and Combinations, etc. Hope this helps you appreciate the importance of Discrete Mathematics (my favourite subject in Computer Science), and may it become your favourite subject too. 
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