[theora-dev] What sort of math i required?

Timothy B. Terriberry tterribe at vt.edu
Sat Dec 6 10:41:58 PST 2003

Ralph Giles wrote:
> Yes, the MDCT is a big part of both Theora and Vorbis. Information theory is the basis of all

MDCT is Vorbis only. Theora is based on a 2D 8-point Type II DCT (e.g., 
a regular DCT). For the large majority of the work, you don't really 
even need to understand how this works. The transform in use is fixed, 
and our VP3 compatibility goal will not let us change it. You can just 
treat it as a black box.

If I were picking courses, I'd want some advanced linear algebra (e.g.,
something that goes beyond the introductory course method of just 
talking about matrices, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors, etc., and 
develops the abstract ideas of what a vector space is, an inner product 
space, etc.), and at least some simple singal processing (know what a 
Fourier transform is, its connection with the DCT, understand at least 
the basics of the frequency domain). If your university has a 
compression/information theory course, it might certainly be 
interesting, but Theora doesn't use much beyond RLE and Huffman codes.

After that there is a ton of specialized domain literature that needs to 
be read and understood. I doubt many universities have actual classes on 
these things, and if they do, they probably don't delve very deep. Don't 
let this scare you; most of this part can be done "on the job" as it were.

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