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How much use of Differential Equations are there in Computer Engineering?

Hey all!

Just out of curiousity, how much do differential equations come into play in a job in the field of computer engineering?

Asking because I'm fine with the calculus classes I've had to take, but man, Differential Equations are absolutely kicking me to the curb... Like if I could be any worse at it, I'd be in the negatives. >_<

So, how well do I need to learn Diff. Eq.? Is this something I should be passing with flying colors, meaning I should drop it and learn it better the second time around, or would struggling through with a D be satisfactory?

They come into play all the time in game programming (which requires tons of math).

Think about going back and forth between position, velocity, acceleration, etc.
It sounds to me like you are referencing calculus course material, with your comment of velocity, acceleration, and the like. To be clear, we are talking about the same material yes?


^Bah, hate wikipedia, but it'll do the trick this time.

I'm talking about things like the heat/wave equations, Euler method, improved Euler method, Laplace Transforms etc. The entire course is basically all proofs, and it royally sucks.

EDIT: Actually, we just did a problem in class with velocity of an object, so I guess yes, we're talking about the same thing. I had a "Duh" moment.

What if I don't do something game related lol, is it still as intensive in Diff Eq.?
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There are numeric methods to approach those heat/wave equations that are (personal opinion) more versatile and complex than all the proofs and methods you learn in calculus. Granted, outside of my old phys/chem job, I never needed to solve them numerically (or at all), but there are applications for those things outside of scientific research: civil engineering for example (that can even get you into tensor calculus if you're not careful).

In general, though, software developers don't care about differential equations. The main branches of math needed here are discrete math (graph theory etc) and linear algebra.
Unless you're making a game involving non-euclidean space and portals ;p
is it still as intensive

Actually, game programming is more intensive than differential equations. Differential equations are not so difficult - there are several tricks you need to learn and that's all. All of them you could probably read in wikipedia in about a day. Further, those tricks are being chewed up for you and served ready to consume by your instructor. Finally, taking math classes is always good for a programmer because it will sharpen your computing skills, which you *will* need when you start serious programming.
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