Before jumping into creating and designing projects, it is important to develop the mindset of a designer. Therefore we need to fetch the following skills into ourselves:
- Algorithm Design
- Mathematical Modeling
Algorithm design is the skill to convert a simple life phenomenon into steps. For example, going to school is something we do every day (Thankfully not on weekends!). But in order to design its algorithm, we divide the chores into simple steps i.e.
- Waking up in the morning.
- Taking Bath.
- Wearing clothes.
- Driving to School etc.
Similarly, if we intend to blink an LED, we will follow the following steps:
- Turning LED On.
- Waiting for some time.
- Turning LED Off.
- Wait for some time.
As you might have observed above, Coding is the course of simply converting an Algorithm into the Language Syntax (The structure of statements in a given programming language).
Mathematical modeling is used to convert average life phenomenon into mathematical equations. In this regard the most appropriate example would be of the Word Problems which we have been solving throughout our schooling. Word Problems are basically a phenomenon which we then convert to mathematical equations and solve them simultaneously to resolve it.
Mathematical Modeling is important to us because a person may speak a variety of languages. But a computer only speaks the language of mathematics. You may have heard before that computer is just a calculator which does basic operations like arithmetic operations to quantify the processes. Therefore, it is important that we quantify (convert into numbers and equations) the environment which is of interest to us, just like we quantify a Word Problem. Moreover, Mathematics Modelling is important to us because it makes actions we intend to perform precise, concise and provable.
For example, if you have ever worked on the programming language ‘Scratch’ you might have observed that you control the movement of the Character (Sprite), by giving out the ‘x’ and ‘y’ coordinates to the computer and then the computer moves the character to that point in the ‘x, y plane’. Similarly the games and simulations that we play and use are also mathematically modeled.
In order to do mathematical modelling you need to observe the natural phenomenon and look out for patterns which can be defined in mathematical terms. For example movement of earth around sun can be modeled as a circle with a radius equal to the distance between sun and the earth. It is important to notice that we try not to develop an exact model, but try to get as close to it as possible, for example, the surface of earth is not exactly a sphere but slightly elliptical. Even then, we see Earth as a perfect sphere in the form of globes, google maps etc.
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