What is the most useful math for a programmer to know?

by on June 23, 2012

Q: People say that you need math in order to program computers. Wanting to go into the programming business, I am wondering:
Which branch of math is most useful to the beginning programmer to learn?

3 Responses to “What is the most useful math for a programmer to know?”

    Assuming you have a good understand of high school level math you should be fine for starting out in programming.


    Thank you. Another geek I talked to mentioned that, for game programming, trigonometry and linear algebra are especially helpful, but otherwise, high school math is sufficient.

      Picked as best answer

      There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind.

      1. People say you need to know math not only because you need to know math but because being good at math means you are usually good at solving problems. The key here is that being good at problem solving is a requirement for being a programmer because when you think about it you are just solving problems all day long.

      2. People say you need to know math because, depending on what kind of problems you are solving, math becomes very handy. If your goal is to get into more advanced video game development then you have to start bringing in physics and more advanced maths.

      I agree with Mark when he says high school level math is good for starting out. You need to keep in mind that as you grow as a programmer you are going to run into problems that will force you to go out and learn different things to be able to solve the problem you are working on. This will certainly include learning more math but it isn’t something you need to learn before you get to that point. It is something you will learn once you get to that point.