I find this fascinating, mostly because I don't understand it even a little.
I am a regular Perl Monk, but I've chosen to post this anonymously because I am certain that it will be voted down many times. In fact, I'm going to vote it down myself after I log back in... I'm such a coward :(
I consider myself a competent programmer. I know several languages and I am able to make a living working freelance. I have no problem with pointers, references, OO, complex regular expressions, etc. I am capable of solving some quite complex problems and I've managed to raise myself to level 6 here on Perl Monks. I even speak three spoken languages... It's just the damn math that I cannot learn.
I have never been competent in mathematics. I lack a formal education, I'm self-taught, and maybe that's the difference. I've tried and failed to work toward a computer science degree at more than one community college because of the mathematics requirements. For me, it takes all of my concentration to barely grasp mathematical concepts beyond the basics. True to my claim, I cannot grasp the use of bitwise operators (&, |, ^) in Perl or their equivalents in other languages.
Why are mathematics and programming so closely related?