# Discrete Math: Completely Worthless?

## Recommended Posts

I took a Discrete Math class two years ago. Let me tell you, completely worthless. I never understood how it counted as "Math". The first three chapters didn't even use numbers.

The section I took was for computer science, but the material hardly seemed relevant to programming, or at least not the programs I created.

Is Discrete Math COMPLETELY WORTHLESS, or are there some obscure uses for this garbage?

##### Share on other sites

I am currently doing discrete maths (I am in 2nd year - major in computer science)

It is a very beatiful subject if you ask me. I find it extremely intriguing, and it is extremely usefull as well. The last topic covered in my lectures was on directed graphs which are widely used in computer science. There are of course transitive closures of these graphs as well, which are again very useful things (Warshall Algorithm).

The very essence of maths is explored in the topic, and I feel it is something everyone who intends to have anything to do with logic later on, must do.

##### Share on other sites
I am currently doing discrete maths (I am in 2nd year - major in computer science)

It is a very beatiful subject if you ask me. I find it extremely intriguing' date=' and it is extremely usefull as well. The last topic covered in my lectures was on directed graphs which are widely used in computer science. There are of course transitive closures of these graphs as well, which are again very useful things (Warshall Algorithm).

The very essence of maths is explored in the topic, and I feel it is something everyone who intends to have anything to do with logic later on, must do.[/quote']OK. Maybe it is useful in Computer Science and logic. But is there another job that utilizes Discrete Math?

##### Share on other sites
The first three chapters didn't even use numbers.

You'll notice, if/when you take more maths. courses, that maths. books rarely make use of actual numbers. Mathematics isn't only about numbers.

The section I took was for computer science, but the material hardly seemed relevant to programming, or at least not the programs I created.

Haven't you studied any algorithms in your discrete maths. course?

##### Share on other sites
You'll notice, if/when you take more maths. courses, that maths. books rarely make use of actual numbers. Mathematics isn't only about numbers.
I've taken Calculus 1, 2, 3 and Differiential Equations and ALL of them used numbers in some form. But, I assume you are correct. Is there any advanced math course that DOESN'T require numbers?

Haven't you studied any algorithms in your discrete maths. course?
Gee, it was a long time ago. I don't recall learning actually algorithms, but rather, rules needed to classify this or that. I probably did learn some algorithms, but they didn't seem very useful to me at the time, so they never made it past my short-term memory.

##### Share on other sites

My discrete mathematics course went on to define numbers, so now we do use them, though we first establish even the most intuitively obvious properties.

It si an excellent course if you want to perfect your skills in logic, it helps you learn how to break down complex statements into simpler ones and then do a detailed analysis. And then there are algorithms whose understanding needs this form of maths as a pre requisite.

##### Share on other sites

If, Firedragon, you think maths is about numbers, then you should probably stop doing it. But I'm a research mathematician, so what do I know?

##### Share on other sites

If you can't handle discrete math, then stop studying math buddy, cuz you have to take abstract Alg. after you finished dis. math. U must know about dis. math is the base of abs. alg. I'm taking Abs. alg. so, i know how hard it is...you need to watch out.

##### Share on other sites
If you can't handle discrete math, then stop studying math buddy, cuz you have to take abstract Alg. after you finished dis. math. U must know about dis. math is the base of abs. alg. I'm taking Abs. alg. so, i know how hard it is...you need to watch out.

I'm not sure this is the right kind of thing to be saying tbh. From the other stuff you've posted (mainly equivalence relations and basic group theory) your abstract algebra course isn't a lot different from my foundations course (which had a load of logic, introduction to proof, equivalence relations, group theory, etc). We didn't do any discrete math and I managed to get a 1st in it. I don't think there's a single discrete math topic that isn't optional on the course as a whole.

##### Share on other sites

I took discrete math just for fun, and I found it to be of great help once I started studying mathematical statistics. I also found it helpful for being able to read and understand proofs in general... along with being able to construct some basic proofs myself.

##### Share on other sites

Did you do any graph theory in your discrete math class? Because graph theory has many applications in psychology and sociology.

##### Share on other sites

And the set theory used in discrete math can be applied pretty much anywhere in math.

##### Share on other sites

Axiomatic set theory can be used to define integers, rationals and real numbers and to prove the properties of operations on these "numbers" such addition and mutiplication, where the properties include associativity, commutativity etc.

The best thing is that you can reduce everything to the most basic level of predicates and propositions and work on them using logical operators of conjunction, disjunction and negation.

##### Share on other sites

Discrete mathematics by its very nature, is simpler than the more traditional mathematics. The great breakthroughs in computer science has enhanced Discrete mathematics and given more impetus to this subject and has given us a better understanding of logic, number bases, algorithms graphs and Boolean algebra, predicate calculus and linear difference. These are just some of the subjects that were once thought of as esoteric subjects. Now, they are common place mathematical subjects that provide a fundamental understanding of our technological society and other mathematical subjects.

##### Share on other sites
If, Firedragon, you think maths is about numbers, then you should probably stop doing it. But I'm a research mathematician, so what do I know?
Hey, I'm no mathematician. And for good reason, too.

I took all the required math that I needed for my major. I'm happy.

As you said, I am unacquainted with what a mathematician actually studies. I assumed it involved manipulating numbers. I guess that I'm wrong. But, is Discrete Math very important in mathematical research?

##### Share on other sites
If you can't handle discrete math, then stop studying math buddy, cuz you have to take abstract Alg. after you finished dis. math. U must know about dis. math is the base of abs. alg. I'm taking Abs. alg. so, i know how hard it is...you need to watch out.
Trust me, I'm keeping as far away from Abstract Algebra as possible. I don't even want to think about how confusing Abstract Algebra probably is.

##### Share on other sites
Did you do any graph theory in your discrete math class? Because graph theory has many applications in psychology and sociology.
Actually I do remember studying Graph Theory. But how is it used in Psych and Sociology?

##### Share on other sites

Almost everything may be reduced to graph theory.

Each node corresponds to some "state" and each vertex to some method of getting between states, or some connection between states.

For instance, consider a game between two players. For each possible position in the game we assign a node, and if there's a legal turn that takes one state to another we draw a (pointed) edge between the nodes. Finding a winning strategy then becomes finding a choice of edges for player1 such that no matter what the other player does you must at some point come to a winning position for player1.

Graphs may also be used for determining how to shedule lessons without clashes (exercise figure out how), or modelling populations, where often you'll give edges labels to indicate the probability of progressing from one state to the other. This is a basic description of a Markov chain (discrete time) that is important in economics, epidemiology,...

##### Share on other sites

yeah, I was thinking of doing the Markov chain module for the 2nd year. still undecided.

##### Share on other sites

How about routing schedules, shortest path determination etc.... This is often used in computer games such as the war games (C&C stuff, whatever). It could allow you to implement a simple AI and stuff like that.

Mathematicians rarely use numbers in fact. You will be surprised to see how much you can do without once using a number

Mandrake

## Create an account

Register a new account