Types of Mathematics for Computer Science

Types of Mathematics for Computer Science

Discrete mathematics is a vast subject and you do not need to study every aspect of it. Different branches of computer science require different mathematical approaches. 

To start, you should understand what sub-sector of discrete mathematics your branch of computer science will require you to know. The mathematical skills you will need depends entirely on the field you choose. There are three main fields.


Calculus is very important if you want to pursue a career in image processing. It covers topics like Fourier transform, wavelets, and linear optimization.

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Calculus can be applied to data mining, image processing, simulating 3D visuals, computer graphics, and the creation of physical engines. Calculus is also used in both basic and advanced computer software.


Algebra is used in every aspect of computer science. From software development to creating algorithms that drive the software, algebra contributes to every field. 

Matrix algebra and vector algebra are the two main sub-sectors. Algebra is used in various fields like web search, image processing, computer vision, and cryptography.

Elementary Statistics

You will come across software and programs every day that have been built using elementary statistics. It is used in a wide array of data mining and speech recognition software, as well as traffic modeling, data compression, and artificial intelligence. Elementary stats cover topics including probability and descriptive statistics.

Other Mathematical Skills Required for Computer Science

  • Matrix algebra. This refers to a rectangular array of numbers.
  • Probability. This is the branch of mathematics that deals with numerical descriptions.
  • Information theory. This is the study of storage, communication, and quantification of information.
  • Number theory. Number theory is simply the study of the properties of integers.
  • Discrete mathematics. This is the study of countable mathematical structures.
  • Linear algebra. Linear algebra is the study of linear equations through matrices and vectors. 

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