# Math in computer game development

By Murray Bourne, 10 Jul 2008

A common cry in mathematics classrooms is, "When am I ever gonna use this stuff?"

I think it's a perfectly reasonable question and it is evidence of the learner seeking meaning in pages of mindless algebra.

Well, who uses math and how do they use it?

One field where math is alive, kicking and vital is the multi-billion dollar computer games industry.

I came across a Math and Physics forum in gamedev.net (no longer available). It gives a fascinating insight into the things that game programmers are trying to achieve in their games and the math that they need to achieve it.

Some recent forum topics:

- Collision detection (vectors, coordinate geometry, distance formula)
- Mollweide projection (3-D geometry)
- Checking if an x,y point is within an ellipse (analytical coordinate geometry)
- Poker (probability)
- Angular velocity
- Matrix operations

I'm always impressed with how people freely give of their time and expertise on such forums.

See also Math in computer games for another example of how math is being used every day in the computer games industry.

See the 1 Comment below.