(Why) I am studying math

In winter term 2010, I started studying computer science. I finished a bachelor degree in “Computer Science” in summer 2014 and bachelor degree in “Software development and Business Management” in May 2015. I thoroughly analyzed that the programmes intersected by about 67% for me. Before summer 2016, I plan to finish my master’s degree in Computer Science with one lecture exam and the master thesis ahead of me.

With this winter term 2015, I am studying “Mathematics” at KF Uni Graz as a NAWI (= engl. MINT) programme. This will cover all the basics of algebra and calculus. The degree programme is linked at my student’s homepage. It intersects with 23 ECTS with my previous programmes. That’s 13%.

Why do I still want to study? Several reasons come to my mind:

  • I remember back in 2011 (= 2nd semester) we discussed alternative studies. My study colleague could not think of any alternative. I answered “Philosophy” and “Mathematics”. Today I am rather disappointed with philosophy, but math is still some strange enlightening field of interest of mine.
  • Irregularly I studied theory by Donald Knuth (eg. in The Art Of Computer Programming). And I am still a fanboy of Donald Knuth. However I fail to understand much of his content, because it’s mathematics in its pure form. Understanding might even be possible with systematic efforts, but recognizing all the links is much more fun which is only possible with background knowledge.
  • I enjoy the art and science of computers. Especially recently I have discovered areas of computer engineering which I considered unattractive beforehand. And they are orthogonal to mathematics (economics/practice over rigorousness/purity). But I also want to master the underlying art of math.
  • During my master’s degree I could not master the art of mathematical proofs. Neither I am good at writing my own ones nor can I recite known ones thoroughly.
  • Regarding digital typesetting there is not much progress. I need better understanding of the domain requirements and as such practice in typesetting mathematics and typesetting other languages would be helpful. Therefore I will also take some Japanese classes during my studies.

It’s time to reset my brain. The last months I was trying hard to get rid of existing projects to be able to focus on my math studies. However, I am not sure I can finish these studies. For now I can only finance studies of at most 2 years. By the way, if I really want to finish this degree I need to do a third bachelor thesis, because my previous ones don’t get recognized for math.

(Why) I am studying math

Donald Knuth about the Unicode Standard

“Hardcopy versions of the Unicode Standard have been among the most crucial and most-heavily used reference books in my personal library for years. Unicode allows me to celebrate the fact that computer science is a vast worldwide collaboration. And Unicode is perhaps the best tool I know to help bring understanding between people of different cultures”

Donald Knuth on the Unicode Standard

Donald Knuth about the Unicode Standard

Force-directed graph drawing

I just published my article Force-directed graph drawing with PySide which provides a framework to introduce programmers to force-directed graph drawing. It is meant to be educational and I experimented with force-directed graph drawing because of initial joint work with FelixHOer on a Clojure implementation, which did not get completed. Last April I wrote the majority of the article and gave a Lightning Talk at pygraz. I now finalized the article in version 1.0.0 and published it.

Have fun with it!

Force-directed graph drawing