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Computer Science and Maths ability

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Mrdavidjameshowell, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Mrdavidjameshowell

    Mrdavidjameshowell New commenter

    Maths and Computer Science are inextricably linked.
    What Maths skills have you identified as being crucial to success in Computer Science (particularly at GCSE)?
    Have you found a strategy for upping students’ Maths skills to aid their performance in CS? Do you have evidence to show an improvement in Maths as a result of studying Computer Science?
    Any contributions would be much appreciated.
  2. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Have you seen this discussion in Stack Exchange?

    I think that students' mathematical failings can probably be classified in three ways; i.e. things that students:
    • know about but don't apply well - the most obviously probably being modular arithmetic
    • need to learn during the course, such as bitwise logic, Boolean flags, etc.

    • would have known how to do when I was at school, but can't do now, e.g. scaling things.
    As for your later questions - I have no strategy other than repeatedly banging on about them, and I'm not sure how we could measure the impact on Mathematical ability as the students are having Maths lessons as well.
  3. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    Discrete Mathematics is crucial, to me a basic understanding of several key skills are necessary;
    • Matrices (types of Matrix and arithmetic )
    • Matrix translations and rotations
    • Matrix coordinates
    • Number sets (natural, integers, rational, irrational, real)
    • Number set arithmetic
    • Number set cardinality and duality
    • Laws of Set Algebra
    • Graph theory
    Some of those may seem a bit OTT but they provide a solid understanding in my experience.

    Since my CS degree I have to say the only time I've used them is teaching them.

    The reason I suggest these is because the arithmetic behind them is simple, logic is needed to carry out the methods and is also needed to be a decent programmer.

    A man MMU lecturer quoted some statistics in a lecture I observed as parts of my MSc, 40% of an intake were good programmers (possessed decent maths skills) with practice of programming this went up to 70% of the class.

    Maths are crucial but in my experience not the ultimate determiner.

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