The relationship between computing education and mathematics

Does anyone ever think that the critical point in the growing of mathematical roots is timing? Computer science and software engineering, as parts of mathematically based disciplines are new, developing disciplines. However, it takes time for mathematical knowledge to grow and flourish, and that might represent a real challenge for today’s students.

Mathematical reasoning is essential to one’s everyday lives – we use basic mathematical concepts, simple or complex, every time we have to make a decision regarding a business or a household expenditure. Indeed, mathematical reasoning is more relevant to computing that many other disciplines. From a computer designer perspective, a computer is a device that follows mathematical rules upon employment of mathematics.

Mathematics not only teaches one how to find patterns, for example, and then how to use those patterns later on, but also the discipline and accuracy within the knowledge. In practice, writing a code line, for instance, employs mathematics techniques so serious complications may occur. Therefore, being organized and aware of every required step is particularly important.

Mathematical ability and computing ability are related. How early and rigorously students study mathematics in middle school and high schools correlates with their future computing educational achievement. Many found that math classes are hard, and they are not always comfortable with symbols, mathematical notations, and abstraction. This might be true. Employers will might not ask for mathematical knowledge whenever they hire a computer science major or an engineer, but he expects the mathematical skills required by the job. Therefore, the instructors struggle sometime to identify the fundamental mathematical concepts, integrating into the courses material, and motivating their use.

Therefore, Calculus I, at least, but also Calculus II, are a must as well as Algebra no matter how many arguments might be out there. Lowering the level of mathematics classes will lead to a general immaturity of the discipline and implicitly hurt the future of computer science majors. Computer science builds on mathematics, and the language used in computing education is heavily influenced by mathematics.

Also, as computing changes society for the digital age, students need to be able to think mathematically in the context of computation. That implies a logical approach of problem-solving activity, identifying and applying patterns, and also familiarity with abstract concepts and modeling.

Whether one agrees or not, the future of computing education is strongly related to the formation of computer science and software engineering majors being able to create successful artifacts and systems in order to meet people’s wants and needs.