A magazine about programmers, code, and society. Written by humans since 2018.

Issue 055: Mathematics

Issue 055: Mathematics

Welcome to the fifty-fifth issue of De Programmatica Ipsum, about Mathematics. In this edition we explore the intricate relationship between computers and mathematics; in the Library section, we review "Gödel ∀ (para todos)" by Martínez and Piñeiro; and in our Vidéothèque section, we learn how to calculate inverse square roots in 1990's hardware.

In Praise Of Mathematics

How much math knowledge does a programmer need to know to fulfill their job? How deep should the mathematical knowledge of full-stack engineers, computer security experts, or large language model engineers be? The spectrum of possible answers to these questions is too large to be useful. Perhaps the eternal answer "it depends" is enough?


One of my favorite hobbies is called recreational mathematics. This is the kind of revelation that I can only offer in the pages of this magazine and other select locations, feeling confident and hopeful that there is a more receptive public here than, say, at a Christmas dinner conversation or at the pub.

Guillermo Martínez & Gustavo Piñeiro

So far, in this Library section, we have only covered books in English. We have already discussed the hegemony of this language, and we think it is important to challenge it; so today we break the mould and introduce a book originally published in Spanish in 2009, "Gödel ∀ (para todos)" by Argentine mathematicians Guillermo Martínez and Gustavo Piñeiro, the former also a renowned fiction author.

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