First day of the academic year(CS):

(some uni official) - "And remember to become a good programmer you have to become an excellent mathematician first"

(Me): Oh shit.

Little did I know...

It is a second year now. And the only course I failed is the one that he lectured.

I had no fucking idea that people like this (mad)man exist.

Almost at every lecture he was introducing at leas one topic that was way beyond our program; as he thought they were interesting and "fun".

Many teachers at the University refered to him as a very 'ambitious' man. Then I didn't blame him he truly loved his profession and wanted to share as much knowledge as possible(I thought).

But two months ago he went to far. It was a second exam(for those who failed the first one). And believe me there were a few(60 out of 160 to be exact).

Only ~30 people showed up as the rest failed to many courses and would be kicked out of the uni anyway.

He was handing out the exams when I saw that whoever gets one slowly starts turning white.

I finally got my copy and immediately I realized that the tasks are from his favorite topics, the "fun" ones. 🤦

At this point I knew that it will be extremely hard to pass. But when I was reevaluating my life choices something draw my attention.

One of the tasks had a note below it: "Homework after the exam: It is a very interesting problem just assume x instead of y and try to solve it. PS: it is a lot of fun!"

At this point I lost it.😠 I don't care how much you love math, you should always assume that not everyone loves it as much as you do. So don't push it down the throat of people who clearly don't need a degree in this subject!

Now I'm preparing for the second semester with this guy. And I have a strong feeling that it will be hell of a ride... again.😐

BTW: Sorry that the rant is so long, it's the first one I wrote, and had to share it with someone 😀

  • 3
    What are the subjects?
    Am curious as how difficult they were.

    I personally like math, but then again a shitty prof is a shitty prof no matter what subject he/she teaches.
  • 10
    I am one of the few that believes that in order to be a good developer you need to be a good mathematician. BUT, I also believe that if I am to make that claim then I must(and there is no other way around it) understand the subject at hand properly enough to explain it to others and help them understand. To me there is no such thing as bad math students, only really fucking shitty teachers on a rather complicated subject. Math is complex, it is about the most complex subject we as humans have since it damn near encompasses everything in creation and even then we do not know it all, to assume that one has the level of knowledge required to just understand and keep up is absolute bullshit and I hope that "teacher/professor"(he is neither or) gets taken care of soon enough.

    Do not let it beat you down man, I am considered "math smart" by a lot of my peers and any shit professor can make me look retarded.
  • 2
    I really like math, but only at a slow rythm. That professor is insane and anyone who supports him should die.
  • 3
    Honestly a lot of programming isn't math heavy, but data(structure) heavy. Sure there is match heavy programming, but there's many domains and he's considering his the only domain.

    The gatekeeping is strong.
  • 1
    Cho-uc the course is named "mathematical analysis for computer science" however I found it a bit nondescriptive. So here are some of the topics(it is hard to get good translation): Lebesque integral, differentiation of multivariate functions, metric spaces, analysis of real multivariate functions
  • 5
    Programming is not math-heavy; it is logic-heavy. Algebra is where logic and math meet, and to be a mathmetician means you have mastered algebra -- and therefore are very skilled in logic. Thus, being a mathmetician absolutely does increase your ability to be a good programmer, but because of the logical thinking, not the math.

    Now, if you're considering functional programming in e.g. Scala, Haskell, etc., the math-minded approach to thinking that mathemticians have will absolutely help more. But that same method of math-first thinking may actually hinder you in e.g. object oriented programming styles. That last bit is speculation on my part stemming from the fact that I think in code, not math, and therefore have difficulty in pure-math areas, so I suspect the inverse is likewise true.
  • 2
    @halfflat Somewhat agreed. Clear separation and clean interfaces, etc. are also present in math, but it's not unique to math.

    Also, what you mentioned about graph theory, proofs of correctness, etc. is more computer science, which is more theoretical and abstract (and absolutely more math-heavy) than development. These of course do improve your development abilities, but with diminishing returns. The further you go, the less it will actually improve your development skills. Also, without any real development experience, mastering theory means nothing for programming ability. For evidence, look at code produced by Masters and PhD students: while functional and provably correct or efficient, it is far from clean, readable, or maintainable. "Ivory tower programming" is often the absolute worst.
  • 3
    @Root came here to say almost exactly what you wrote (minus the OOP speculation part). Have an upvote, would give two if I could. ;-)
  • 2
    @Root exactly. They teach the science, but in practice you're really more of an engineer. The discipline is extremely different.
  • 2
    Discussion is deriving.
    This guy is giving serious 'positive empathic' hints.
    Just focus on the fun parts..?
  • 1
    @halfflat which, yeah. But there's considerably more than goes into it than just that.

    Does being good with math make you a better programmer in general? Yeah.

    Won't do jack shit for the domain I focus on though. Text/language/grammar isn't math.
  • 0
    @Root we want to think that logic and mathematics are distant from one another....till we get into the area of Knowledge Reasoning and Representation and we see just how horribly mathematical the concept of logic is. Its dense as all hell. don't just take my word for granted, look up what propositional calculus is and the history behind logic. highly mathematical!
  • 0
    @halfflat "a good proof is like a good piece of code"
    One can actually formalize this into a rigorous enough mathematical statement, check out the Curry-Howard correspondence.

    Though it's not quite in the sense of what you were saying, but yeah.
  • 3
    To be clear I'm not saying that math is not useful/needed in computer science. But I believe that some topics are just less important from the programmer's perspective.

    I mean if there is an integral that even Wolfram can't solve (because of a unique trick that you have to make) then how likely I am to encounter such an integral in my future career.

    I mean it's not even Master's degree.
  • 0
  • 0
    @halfflat you're making something what you want it to be rather than seeing it for what it is.

    I could teach someone how to write a parser without them using a lick of algebra let alone anything more sophisticated.
  • 0
    @halfflat by that logic every domain may possibly include every other domain, and you're left with a meaningless definition.
  • 0
    @halfflat and yet you've been the one arguing it with others, not just me.
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