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What's the needed math for building algorithms? Because I was reading a book and I can't understand much. It says I need simple math from high school. I don't want to learn all the math that exist because I hate math, no that much though. What math is actually required?

closed as off-topic by Dan Pichelman, gnat, Doc Brown, user22815, Kilian Foth Jul 8 '17 at 6:47

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  • This question is probably going to get closed because we don't do book recommendations here. Wikipedia has a vast set of math & logic pages. For example, the list of symbols is helpful. – Erik Eidt Jul 7 '17 at 21:40
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    Can you elaborate on what your current math level is? Have you had a basic course in Algebra? For what it's worth, I've found that personally for me the math isn't the problem. It's whether or not the problem is interesting. If it's a really interesting problem, I don't mind at all learning all the math. But if I have to go through a really boring problem to solve something better, even simple math isn't that interesting in the process. – user1118321 Jul 8 '17 at 2:33
  • While you can create algorithms without seeming to use "math", algorithms are a form of math, so any analysis will require mathematical tools. – Frank Hileman Jul 10 '17 at 22:55
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    If you don't like math writing algorithms is not a good career choice. College level math is required. – paparazzo Jul 11 '17 at 21:57
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Kind of depends on what kind of algorithms you want to build. If you want to get into machine learning or genetic algorithms, you'll want more of a software architecture class / book first.

College Algebra is used frequently. Calculus...not so much, but might be used for some advanced algorithms.

But algorithm doesn't directly correlate with math. Algorithms are the methods you use to accomplish a task. Evolving a genetic algorithm from a worse parent state to a better child state uses some kind of algorithm.

You can also think of algorithms as a path. I want to go from point A in a city to point B. There are many different "algorithms" I can use to get there, but they may not even use math.

Sorting algorithms are a great place to start. You can learn how the sequence of steps to organize a list of data can be different. Some algorithms are definitely better than other.

I'd start with looking up questions / discussions of sorting algorithms to get started. I'd recommend having at least College Algebra, but I wouldn't think it's absolutely necessary.

If you want to pursue Computer Science, which is all about algorithms, that's what you learn in college. Classes like Fundamental of Logic, Introduction to Software Architecture, and all sorts of programming courses will teach you commonly used algorithms. That's where I'd start looking. There's some math involved, and depending on your college, you may need some advanced courses, but they're all worth it.

  • the point here is that every book I find talk with maths and it's difficult to understand. – Frank Jul 7 '17 at 21:45
  • I want to do algorithm analisys. – Frank Jul 7 '17 at 21:46
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    @frank: if you want to do algorithm analysis, especially if you want to do it professionally, you need to become a math expert. There is no getting around it. Convince yourself to take an interest in math or pursue a different career/hobby. – whatsisname Jul 7 '17 at 23:38
  • @frank: I think Zzzach... is soft-pedaling the difficulty here. Understanding the runtime of a simple algorithm is often more difficult than the hardest problems you have seen in highschool algebra. Wanting to be good at algorithms without math is like wanting to be an olympic swimmer without getting wet. – Logister Jul 9 '17 at 0:36

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