Thursday, August 4, 2016

An easy to read Discrete Math book, I hope :)

I found a book which I believe can help me begin to study Discrete Mathematics and other parts of theoretical computer science: the Building Blocks of Theoretical Computer Science by Margaret M. Fleck.

I found the book from a list of books on Github.

I became interested with the book because the preface says "Everyone can do proofs".

And then says this:
"Some of you are brilliant young theoreticians and you’ll think this stuff is fun because it’s what you naturally like to do. However, many of you are future software and hardware engineers. Some of you may never think of formal mathematics as “fun.” That’s ok. We understand. We’re hoping to give you a sense of why it’s pretty and useful, and enough fluency with it to communicate with the theoretical side of the field."
I'm happy that there are math people out there who are considerate to programmers like me who do not have a very rich math background... and they are doing something to make it easier for us to understand that things that they understand!!! Wow!

I actually do think that formal mathematics is fun. I just don't understand them now.

I hope this book will help get me started in studying the more complex parts of computer science.

Another thing is that, a few days ago, I actually found another interesting book that I believe is similar to the one above: "Mathematical Foundations of Computing" by Keith Schwarz. It is a course reader of Stanford's CS 103 last Winter 2016.

What made me become interested to this one is the statement in the Course Information about prerequisites:
"CS103 is a theory course, but doesn't have any math prerequisites. You should feel comfortable with high-school algebra (i.e. factoring and multiplying polynomials), but you do not need to have taken precalculus or calculus prior to taking CS103. We'll build up all the mathematical machinery we need as we go."
I thought I need calculus when studying discrete math. Well, maybe it is needed in more advanced discrete math? I don't know.

But I will first use "Building Blocks of Theoretical Computer Science" then the second book, "Mathematical Foundations of Computing".

Happy coding!! I mean, mathematicking :D :D

Here's an inspiring video that I got from the webpage of Stanford's CS 103 last Winter 2016:

She says, "Math is hard. But you can do it."


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