Math for Programming: Why Developers Should Learn Mathematics

Math, in this context, refers to the branch of mathematics that deals with numbers and their relations. Programming is also about numbers – but these are different because they are ones and zeros on a computer screen rather than written in pencil or chalk. This article will explore some reasons why it’s important for programmers to know math.

Why Developers Should Learn Mathematics

Programming is a problem solving activity, and math helps solve hard problems. There are many things that can’t be easily solved without some understanding of mathematics – for example: how will you know if your program has any bugs? How do you make sure two people in different locations playing the same game have the same experience?

Understanding mathematics helps programmers communicate better with engineers or other professionals who use it in their work. If everyone on an engineering team speaks English but one person speaks only Java code, then this programmer might not be able to successfully explain what they want. You’ll need at least basic knowledge about numbers to describe something like “increase visibility by 20%.” Even more importantly, engineers come up with solutions through trial and error. This is often not successful in the long term, but you’ll need to know about basic mathematical principles like order of operations so that your program can succeed.

Understanding mathematics helps programmers understand how their code will work or what it’s doing wrong. For instance, if a programmer has written an HTML page with some text and buttons on it but they don’t see anything on screen when they load up the webpage in their browser then there might be something incorrectly coded somewhere. A quick calculation tells them that 20px should go at the top of each button – this only takes a few seconds once you know about pixels relative to inches (and have thought about whether margin needs adjusting). But without understanding these basics, figuring out why the problem exists would take a lot more time.

The same goes for understanding numerical values in programming, which is why knowing about exponents and basic algebraic operations can help when it comes to debugging errors or finding the right value to use. In some cases, if you need an equation with a number like pi (π) then there’s no way around doing math to find that answer – whether you’re using our handy calculator or learning your times table off by heart!

Math helps us make sense of complex problems without having to reinvent the wheel every time we come across one. You might be able to write code on your own but after following someone else’s example it will increase how efficient your coding becomes while also giving better results because you understand what the programmer did.

The concepts you learn in math are very similar to programming, where if one thing doesn’t work and there’s a problem then it can often lead to other parts of your code breaking as well. This is because mathematics relies on all kids of equations based on logic that determine what happens when we plug different variables into an equation or simplifying complex problems down to its basics – which also applies in coding.

What is the best math for programming?

Each type of programming require certain knowledge of math. Following are some examples of math used in programming:


An example of a math problem that you might need to solve in programming is the following: “The sum of two numbers is 12. What are they?” The solution for this algebraic expression can be found by dividing through parentheses or expanding it out fully into multiplication’s distributive property.

Linear Algebra

Linear Algebra is an important domain in mathematics that often comes up when programming. It’s especially important for Data Scientists because matrices are widely used to represent data in Machine Learning.

Programmers should be thorough with various terms like matrix, vector, and identity matrix. They also need to know what transpose and inverse of a matrix are. This is a part of linear algebra that you need for any programmer.

Boolean Algebra

Boolean in programming is like in mathematics. For example, there are Boolean Algebra concepts like AND, OR, NOT, and XOR, which exists in programming. They are at the core of many programming logic.


Calculus is important for many disciplines, including programming. Calculus problems show up in machine learning all the time. Machine learning is about making your problem better. It requires calculus, which is learned in college. Calculus is also used when developer make simulation-based programs. It is needed to model how each object will interact with each other.

Probability and Statistics

Probability and statistics are used everyday in programming. Probability and statistics are the foundation of most machine learning methods. Machine Learning algorithm is modeled by an underlying distribution that generates the observed data.

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