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Ask HN: Adult learning Calc
5 points by nubb on Nov 20, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 3 comments
For fun in my free time I'm writing a game in unity and c# where you pilot a plane. I could not find an auto pilot script so i am writing it from scratch.

While trying to figure out how to dynamically set the planes elevator deflection based on the planes vertical speed and distance from the desired altitude i discovered that writing an auto pilot involves some advanced math :)

My math resume ends at high school trig.

I am hoping to discover what flavor of math should i focus my studies on to achieve my goal and possibly hoping to avoid learning any fluff in the process.

Thanks all

I would start with vectors and physics.

Note that there is some basic calculus involved in both of those.

The Wikipedia is a bit dense, but if you take the time to follow links to concepts that you aren't familiar with you should be good.


You might have done a little bit of calculus with High School trig without knowing it. Sometimes Trig is mixed in with Analysis for some nuanced reasons.

I would check out the Khan academy post for a basic grounding in calculus.


This sounds like a fun project !

Have you looked into PID controlers? The basic idea is stupid simple and uses no big math.

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