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I am an undergraduate computer science student at Cal Poly (SLO) and I have some flexibility in which math courses I can take, but I don't know which math courses would be most beneficial. I have already taken a statistics/probability course and Calculus 3. My options are pretty flexible for a Mathematics/Statistics elective. What type of math is most useful to know for the field of computer science? I still don't know what type of career I would like, so general answers are okay; or some specific classes for specific career paths would be great too. Thanks!

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Juho, Raphael Feb 12 '14 at 8:56

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

There have been similar questions at at least, probably elsewhere. A definite answer is almost impossible to give, CSc is very broad, the math you'd need for, say, software engineering research is very different from what you'd need for algorithm design, which in turn has little in common with what is required for network (or computer system) modelling. – vonbrand Feb 12 '14 at 0:52
Can't go wrong with linear algebra. Plenty of stuff expressible in systems of linear equations that want solving. Also, the algebra part of linear algebra is useful to get a taste for abstract properties of operations and algebraic structures. Other than that, vonbrand is right saying that questions like this should be easy to find on CS. – G. Bach Feb 12 '14 at 1:16
For something somewhat comprehensive, check out this question plus the links presented in the answers. – G. Bach Feb 12 '14 at 1:51

1 Answer 1

Discrete maths will be the first priority.

then number theory.

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Number theory? I understand that you would want to do that for cryptography and some complexity theory, but other than that, I can't think of much to do with number theory in CS. – G. Bach Feb 12 '14 at 2:52
@G.Bach I agree. Unless you're interested in cryptography, you probably won't need any number theory at all. (Or, if you do, it'll be the Chinese remainder theorem or something similarly basic, which you can pick up from Wikipedia.) – David Richerby Feb 12 '14 at 9:20

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