Questions tagged [math]

Programming questions that are significantly affected or best defined by the underlying mathematics of the problem.

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15
votes
4answers
11k views

Handling extremely large numbers in a language which can't?

I'm trying to think about how I would go about doing calculations on extremely large numbers (to infinitum - intergers no floats) if the language construct is incapable of handling numbers larger than ...
52
votes
11answers
38k views

Is there a canonical book on mathematics for programmers? [closed]

I'm a self-taught programmer. I am honestly not good in math. What advice you can give to improve my Mathematical skills so that I will not be so insecure around my fellow programmers? What are the ...
15
votes
0answers
3k views

Do we have to learn Mathematics to be a good Programmer? [duplicate]

Do we have to learn Mathematics to be a good Programmer?
89
votes
26answers
85k views

What does mathematics have to do with programming? [closed]

I just started a diploma in software development. Right now we're starting out with basic Java and such (so right from the bottom you might say) - which is fine, I have no programming experience apart ...
78
votes
67answers
230k views

Do you have to be good at math to be a good programmer? [closed]

It seems that conventional wisdom suggests that good programmers are also good at math. Or that the two are somehow intrinsically linked. Many programming books I have read provide many examples that ...
50
votes
5answers
39k views

get weighted random item

I have, for example, this table +-----------------+ | fruit | weight | +-----------------+ | apple | 4 | | orange | 2 | | lemon | 1 | +-----------------+ I need to return a random ...
30
votes
4answers
5k views

Can you use Pi as a crude random number generator?

I recently saw this question over at math.SE. It got me thinking. Could Pi be used as a crude random number generator? I mean the results are well known(how long has pi been computed to now?) but, Pi ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Documenting mathematical logic in code

Sometimes, although not often, I have to include math logic in my code. The concepts used are mostly very simple, but the resulting code is not - a lot of variables with unclear purpose, and some ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is the “period of a (pseudo)random number generator” important?

I've been trying to understand (pseudo)random number generator code from various sources and the concept of the period continues to elude me. To satisfy the minimum level of understanding, I've tried ...
1
vote
1answer
251 views

Algorithm to find the fewest number of values (from a set of values) where the sum equals a value (+ one more condition)

The simplest way to explain this is with an example. You're given then number 19 and you have a set of numbers to choose from: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 When choosing values from the list (which can be ...
45
votes
1answer
38k views

Treating a 1D data structure as 2D grid

I am working with a native class that represents a 2D image as a 1D array. If you want to change one pixel, for example, you need to now how to derive the index from the x,y coordinates. So, let's ...
52
votes
14answers
36k views

Why does DirectX use a left-handed coordinate system?

I considered posting on Stack Overflow, but the question strikes me as being far too subjective since I can't think of a reasonable technical explanation for Microsoft's choice in this matter. ...
22
votes
11answers
2k views

How is fundamental mathematics efficiently evaluated by programming languages?

As I get more and more involved with the theory behind programming, I find myself fascinated and dumbfounded by seemingly simple things.. I realize that my understanding of the majority of fundamental ...
64
votes
5answers
13k views

Why is negative zero important?

I'm confused about why we care about different representations for positive and negative zero. I vaguely recall reading claims that having a negative zero representation is extremely important in ...
31
votes
1answer
2k views

Why was the caret used for XOR instead of exponentiation?

Not that it's really a problem for anyone that has faced this syntactic issue before, but I see a wild amount of confusion stemming from the use of the caret (^) as the XOR operation in lieu of the ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Which programming languages doesn't use operator precedence besides Lisp like languages? [closed]

And what do you think about operator precedences? Would be harder programming in a language where the operations are executed in sequential order? Ex.: 2 + 3 * 4 == 20 2 + (3 * 4) == 14 Ok, Lisp ...
35
votes
16answers
7k views

Why use other number bases when programming

My coworkers and I have been bending our minds to figuring out why anyone would go out of their way to program numbers in a base other than base 10. I suggested that perhaps you could optimize longer ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the “correct” way to store functions in a database?

Note: Yes, I know that storing functions in databases should be punishable by law. We are developing a financial web application using PostgreSQL, Sinatra and AngularJS. As you may have guessed, a ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any formalized/mathematical theories of software testing?

Googling "software testing theory" only seems to give theories in the soft sense of the word; I have not been able to find anything that would classify as a theory in the mathematical, information ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Discrete Mathematics Refreshers Course? [closed]

I graduated 8 years ago and did a discrete mathematics course in my 2nd year, but I've been told that I'll likely be asked discrete maths questions in an upcoming interview. Is there a simple webpage/...
6
votes
8answers
29k views

What is the difference between a floating decimal number and fixed decimal number?

Please explain in layman's terms.
10
votes
5answers
10k views

When comparing floats, what do you call the threshold of difference?

I'm comparing floats in Java right now and the simplest formula is: Math.abs(a - b) < THRESHOLD When naming your variable for the threshold of difference, should you name it delta or epsilon? ...
6
votes
5answers
784 views

Hamming Distance using a dictionary

First time poster. I'm currently programming a hamming distance program using a dictionary. So if we start with the word "cat" and we want to transform it into "dog", the sequence is cat-->cot-->dot-...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is mod (%) a fundamental mathematical operator in many programming languages?

Is there a reason, historical or otherwise, why the modulus operator is part of a small set of standard operators in what seems like many languages? (+, -, *, / and %, for Java and C, with ** in Ruby ...
7
votes
0answers
833 views

Math underpinnings of software testing? [duplicate]

In my software engineering course, we recently (briefly) covered testing. Over the course of the discussion some topics came up that made me wonder about the math underlying software testing (such as ...
6
votes
6answers
392 views

Formatting 'Complex' Math

Note: by 'complex' math I mean an equation with many steps involved and a wide mix of operators. A programmer should know the order that operators are evaluated in an equation. However it can be a ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How to represent a geometric line programmatically?

I have been trying to design a library to do some simple geometric computations in an Euclidean space regardless of its dimension. While it is easy to represent points, vectors, hyperspheres and ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a formula to figure out the total execution time of sequential asynchronous processes?

I have a set of steps that need to run sequentially over a list of data. However each step only operates on a single piece of data at a time. Because of this, I can run the steps asynchronously. For ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Domain analysis - why OFF points are inside of the domain when the border is open

I have asked on a few other sites, no response but it must be something silly as many authors mention in their books. Here is the best text I found: My ultimate question is: Why the OFF point lies ...
2
votes
3answers
823 views

In Java, why does Integer.MIN_VALUE == -Integer.MIN_VALUE

Quite simply, I was aghast when I discovered one of my unit tests was failing because -Integer.MIN_VALUE == Integer.MIN_VALUE! Why would the language designers choose this, what is the mathematical ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Randomized Hash function with no collisions

Related to the question Which hashing algorithm is best for uniqueness and speed? Is there a way to create a hash function, or find one, whose hash length depends completely on the input length, has ...
0
votes
0answers
245 views

Domain analysis for discrete values - ON and OFF points in these cases

Following my previous question (with great answer from Bart van Ingen Schenau), I noticed a discrepancy I could not wrap my head around: Bart mentioned that: The point ON the boundary is by ...
-3
votes
3answers
703 views

More Accurate Random in C [closed]

I have 3 IPs and every IP has a weight, I want to return the IP's according to its weights using the random function. For example if we have 3 IP's X with weight 3 Y with weight 3 and Z with weight 3 ...