Which branch of math should I study

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Which branch of math should I study

Postby RefractedAhav » Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:13 pm

I have forgotten most of the math that I learned in school. I was wondering which branch I should study as an aspiring artist.
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Re: Which branch of math should I study

Postby Kaori » Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:38 am

Hi RefractedAhav,

While I'm glad to see anyone posting on CAA for any legitimate reason, there are so few active members on here that I'm doubtful about whether ANY of us who could be called "active" have the expertise in art (either digital or traditional) to be able to answer your question.

Do you even need math to do artwork? I'm kind of puzzled because I don't even know what kind of art you would like to do that would require math knowledge.

But what I can do is give some more general life advice for how you can approach things to find the answer to this kind of question.

If you find you are trying to do something, or there is something you want to do, but you aren't able to because there is a skill that you're lacking, then you identify what the skill is that you need to do the thing you want to do, and you find a way to learn that skill.

For example, I'm practicing a musical instrument, trying to get better as a musician. This is an instrument that can only play one note at a time, but my teacher is trying to explain some things to me about the chord progression going on in the accompaniment/other instruments. I feel a deficit in my knowledge because although if I look at the score or listen to the piece, I can tell "the chord is changing" if I try, but I would be hard put to identify the specific chords, and moreover, I don't really understand anything about chord progression. (Almost nothing.) So, what I need is ✨music theory✨. If only I had a better understanding of ✨music theory✨, then I would be able to understand what my teacher is trying to tell me, which is important because that knowledge of the overall musical context is going to inform how I need to play my part.

So when you find yourself frustrated because you are trying to do something, but there's some math you need to know to do the thing you are trying to do, then you stop and ask yourself, what is the math that I need to know in order to do this thing that I am trying to do?

Another thing that can help you focus your time on the study or practice that will help you the most is to identify what you already know, what you sort of know but are kind of shaky at and could use some review, and what you don't know or forgot. So, if your goal was simply to brush up on math, in general, for its own sake, math goes in a very logical progression and you can just look up the order of math classes online.

https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... th+classes

In mastery-based learning, you have mastered something if you can get it correct 80% of the time. So, you could look at some representative problems from 9th grade Algebra 1, see what kind of questions there are, and try solving them to check your knowledge. If you get 80% of them right, great, you don't need to review that. Move on to geometry, take a few practice questions. Keep doing that until you find the level of math where you're not able to get 80% of the questions right. See what you missed and review that. Once you've mastered all the typical kinds of questions for that grade of math, move on to the next one.

Here's a continuation of my music theory example; this is not really necessary to read but you can if you want to see another example of this kind of reasoning in action, how I reason through things and decide what I need to start studying:

SPOILER: Highlight text to read: First, I take an inventory of my music theory knowledge. I can identify notes, rhythms, I can read music notation, I can identify intervals, and I can identify triads . . . probably, though maybe I could use some practice with that. I know the major and minor scales, and I understand the concept of what the modes are, but I wouldn't be able to tell you off the top of my head what each mode sounds like. So basically my goal is to start reviewing with triads and work my way up to chords (not limited to triads) and chord progressions and modulation, all that stuff, and I can also stop and review modes once more on my way there to brush up on those. I find a music theory online class--there are lots of free resources out there, too, but this is reassuring because it goes in order and it's comprehensive, so I know I'm not missing anything--and take a look at what information is taught in each unit. By looking at that, I determine that I can completely skip the first three units of the course because they're about note identification, interval identification, and some other basics I already know. So I find the unit that covers some stuff I sort of know but could use some review, and I start there.

So, the TL;DR is look and see what is the point of frustration when you can't do something you want to do because there's a skill you are missing, then you find out what that skill is and remediate it. If you can do all the artwork you want to do without any math knowledge, and you don't ever find yourself frustrated because there's something you want to do but can't (i.e., you ARE able to do the things you want to), then I don't see why there's any need to review anything.

If you want a more specific answer from someone who could simply tell you what math is helpful to know for artwork, you might need to ask somewhere else (Reddit? Quora?). While I'm sure every person on here would *like* to be able to help you, with our CAA population of, like, 3 people, I don't think there's anyone with that kind of expertise.
Let others believe in the God who brings men to trial and judges them. I shall cling to the God who resurrects the dead.
-St. Nikolai Velimirovich

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Re: Which branch of math should I study

Postby Rose Faerie » Sat Aug 13, 2022 11:24 pm

I genuinely don't know. My art knowledge is limited to obsessively taking it almost every year in high school as an elective, and I really only draw as hobby. (I'm pulling myself out of a slump.)

The only thing I can logically connect between math and art is maybe geometry, since there are shapes and measuring things/lengths/proportions. But I don't remember learning anything useful to art in geometry.

I would agree with Kaori in that it might be better to use another site to find the answer to your question. I don't know if anyone here knows anything specific about the relationship between math and art. But who knows? It could be surprising.
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