
Update re the Gnu Underground Railroad
Posted:
May 11, 2006 11:08 AM


Memo
To: mathteach @ Math Forum / Drexel Fr: Kirby Urner, 4D Studios Re: Gnu Math
So as longtimers on this list already know, I'm involved in some conspiracy to change the face of mathteaching, at least in some niche ecologies (I've written about ecovillages, implying you'd need a helicopter to find us  but that's just reality TV futurism).
Recent positive developments: I've been getting the hang of parking my car at Portland State, where I'm adjunct faculty with a tiny elite academy, sponsored by Silicon Forest execs.[1] This has been going on for some 23 years, with Pythonic Mathematics only recently appearing in the catalog.
It's a lab course, and we study such math topics as: fractals, Euler's Theorem, Fermat's Little (not Last) Theorem, Euclid's Algorithm, the Mandelbrot Set, basic cryptography, Linux, the history of programming, Wolfram and NKS, Knuth, 'In Code', 'Cryptonomicon' and Python.[2]
On another front, I'm part of a team developing new curriculum for Southern Africa. Our team, fielded by the Shuttleworth Foundation, kicked off in London a few weeks ago and has been building momentum ever since. I cued the London Knowledge Lab from a BFI perspective [3], plus picked up a lot of good ideas to plough back into our local Silicon Forest economy.
Given student interest in animations work (simulations, games, cartoons), we've been field testing Panda3D for the Edubuntu platform. I've got a refurbished Compaq Deskpro, similar to those used in TuxLabs, for prototyping purposes. Over the Internet, I collaborate with peers in Cape Town and Algebra City, on getting some next generation scene graphs populated with .egg and .bam stored models.[4]
Anyway, that's the score at the moment. More later.
Kirby
[1] Blog post re SA: http://controlroom.blogspot.com/2006/04/backatzoo.html
[2] Class notes for session 3 (note attached errata): http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=4692489
[3] LKL from a BFI perspective: http://bfi.org/pythonicmathematics
[4] Panda3D on Edubuntu: http://controlroom.blogspot.com/2006/05/edubuntu.html

