## Where’s the Math in Computer Science?

Today’s guest blogger is Kenrick Mock, Associate Professor of Computer Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Kenrick writes a blog called Teaching, Technology, and Learning. As a computer science instructor sometimes a student will ask me why math is required for a CS degree. At the University if Alaska Anchorage we require Calc I, Calc II, and discrete math for all of our Bachelor of Science CS majors. I think one of the reasons for this question is that there really isn’t much direct math content in the introductory CS courses aside from the occasional algebraic equation and an understanding of exponents and logarithms for the data structures course. Nevertheless, I think one of the misconceptions that students have is they equate computer programming with computer science. It is possible to be an excellent programmer with only basic math skills (one example is the Information Systems degree) but computer science is more concerned with the science behind the construction of hardware and software systems. This scientific foundation is based on mathematics. With this in mind, I’ve outlined below several ways that math is important to a budding computer scientist as he or she works their way through a CS degree. 1. Mathematical Maturity and Problem Solving College Algebra is prerequisite for our CS1 course although we only have a little bit of direct algebra content. However, college algebra...

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