[racket] Math Guidance

From: Luke Jordan (luke.jordan at gmail.com)
Date: Wed Nov 3 16:43:55 EDT 2010

Hi, I hope that this is an appropriate topic for this mailing list. I'm in
need of some direction.

I've been programming recreationally for a few years and I'm beginning a
serious study with the goal of doing it professionally. One of my early
goals is to complete HtDP.  I'm full-time employed and studying programming
on my own in my free time. I'm into chapter 27 and the math is beyond me.
Math has always been a challenge for me (I majored in music).

It took me over 10 hours to solve the circle-pt example (27.1.2).  Now I'm
struggling with the recursive tree example (27.1.4).  Looking further
into generative recursion section was not an encouraging experience.  I
can't complete these examples, not because I can't program them, but because
I don't have the math to know what I need to program. Now I assume that if I
want to be a developer, I need to learn at least enough math to be able to
follow an introductory text on the subject. And while I don't have a
particular aptitude for it, and don't intend to seek employment in an area
that depends heavily on skills in advanced math, I'm eager to learn what I
have to learn to become a good enough programmer to reasonably expect to
make a living of it.

So I'm trying to figure out how to go forward.  There are a lot of opinions
scattered about the web, but it's difficult for me to know what to take from
that.  Should I make a formal study of math (and if so, what math?) or just
learn it as I go along based on what programming I am studying?  What math
do I need to get through HtDP?


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