The entire process is intensely mathematical, as is what goes on with RNA and its transcribing of DNA into proteins.
Math is a lexical thing, not just a numeric thing. Regular Expressions are a legitimate math topic (pattern matching with strings). I teach that topic almost daily.
> colleges have so much trouble being pertinent in CS. They should follow > MIT's lead with their Course 6 program. Comparing programming today with > programming 50 years ago (when it was near-math) is like comparing medicine > today with medicine 100 years ago. It isn't quaint or simple any more. Layer
You have it hard-wired that the only people starting down the path of learning some programming are going to be working professionally as "programmers" full time. But that was never true of K-12 mathematics i.e. it was never the case that a full time job as a mathematician was at the end of that tunnel.
Why struggle for a couple years mastering XYZ and spherical coordinates and never get a chance to use a ray tracer that expects exactly such data for its rendering engine, and will give you colorful polyhedra as your reward. A traditional math textbook has a few pictures but promises and delivers nothing where interacting with technology is concerned. So much wasted opportunity. We're not talking about anything expensive. POV-Ray is free, as is the Cortona VRML browser.
A couple years ago I taught Python programming to people who work with the instrumentation and data pipelines coming off the Hubble Space Telescope. I was a trainer for Space Science Telescope Institute. http://www.stsci.edu/ Why, do you think astronomer scientists use Fourier Analysis and might want to use numpy for Hubble data? You betcha. Do you think scientists all over the world use Python for math-science computations? Is scipy one of their distros?
The ridiculous backward "schools" (some are in Florida, others in Oregon) that don't use the free software are mostly kept that way for lack of STEM savvy. They don't know how to get started except by outsourcing, and that costs money and the private sector competes with the public schools for consultants, jacks up their hourly rates.
So school districts get left further and further behind. Any "math teacher" that can afford the time away, goes back to community college and gets into IT, which pays better and uses similar skills: an ability to concentrate, problem solve, apply numeric and symbolic skills (noodling).
That's not true of every school district. Riverdale High is another with STEM savvy I could talk about.
> upon layer of complexity has been piled on. Networking, databases, backends, > frontends, threading, load balancing, server, client, graphics and to top it > off, multiple languages, formal (computer) and natural (human, global). And > we are talking one application. I am not complaining, just saying that
Right. That's like a Hell's Angel saying kids should not learn how to ride bicycles because there's no room at the top for many like him.
Mathematics as practiced professionally is way beyond K-12 math as well, but I don't hear you raving about that, as if that analogy didn't count for some reason.
Why so biased? Why so unfair?
> things change. CS grew up. Some CS people are mathy, like some musicians are > mathy, but this isn't a mathy field anymore and hasn't been for quite some > time. That died in the 80's. You want mathy CS, then stay in college, become > a professor or researcher. Nature only allocated us a certain number of > rewrites of the floating point libraries. We have used those up. > > Bob Hansen
Such bizarre education policies you recommend. The world over, STEM workers are writing programs to evaluate their data, perhaps doing 3D visualizations (check out PyMol), and here you're saying computers and computing don't belong. Maybe they used to, but no longer.
I think you're going against history here. Python runs on your smart phone today. GIS / GPS is everywhere. SQL is everywhere. To say K-12 should make all this stuff "elective" whereas learning to factor polynomials like Cardano is the bee's knees in terms of relevance... ever cross your mind we can do it all?
There's actually time in the day to learn SQL and geometry at the same time. How? Store 26 key vertexes in one table, organize them into faces in a related table, and have one row per polyhedron in a master table. Have it back end into POV-Ray and/or VRML. Pie in the sky?
It's what I've taught at Saturday Academy, to teenagers. They only have a few days to sample. I don't run a whole school. But that doesn't mean that I won't or shouldn't or that the better STEM schools aren't already doing as I recommend.
My curriculum writing is just way better than most of what's out there, why be modest? That's why you don't see many people standing up to me effectively. They see I've done my homework and know that I know what I'm talking about.
Lots of collaborators, others share my point of view. Our STEM stuff is simply better, and it's percolating outward.
Sure, there's a Gap (we're light years ahead of most others), but we can live with the responsibility to lead.