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Topic: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.

Replies: 20   Last Post: Nov 18, 2013 2:11 PM

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Doc O'Leary

Posts: 11
Registered: 11/13/13
Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Posted: Nov 13, 2013 12:06 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

In article <slrnl84rgm.vqm.hrubin@skew.stat.purdue.edu>,
Herman Rubin <hrubin@skew.stat.purdue.edu> wrote:

> Computers can do things which they have beeen programmed to do
> and nothing more. I have found that it can be somewhat unwise
> to trust computer programs too much.


Not just "somewhat unwise", but 100% unwise. I say this as a computer
programmer. The software represents nothing more than an implementation
of an algorithm. The *intent* of the system is most often a very
different thing! From a scientific perspective, the only way we can
verify the correctness of the system is have that intent at a higher
level of abstraction. The computer can't do that sort of thinking for
you.

> As for what should be learned, memorization is useually a poor
> way to learn anything, and might leave out alternatives. I would
> expect a child to learn how to construct addition from counting,
> and multiplication from addition, and to produce the tables for
> himself or herself. This would also provide a quick means of
> filling in a forgotten value.


Exactly. If the child does nothing more than memorize a table of
values, their understanding of mathematics is not advancing. We
(should) have kids learn tables because knowing them by heart allows us
to more rapidly do more complex problem solving in the future.
Computers (should) come in to do the heavy lifting not because we
*can't*, but because we want to advance to a higher level of abstraction.

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My personal UDP list: 127.0.0.1, localhost, googlegroups.com, theremailer.net,
and probably your server, too.


Date Subject Author
11/11/13
Read What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Hetware
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn?
William Elliot
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn?
Matthew Lybanon
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
jimp@specsol.spam.sux.com
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Lord Androcles
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Hetware
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Lord Androcles
11/17/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Hetware
11/17/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Lord Androcles
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Herman Rubin
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
fom
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Doc O'Leary
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Sam Wormley
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Ken.Pledger@vuw.ac.nz
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all?
Mathematica, etc.
Brian Q. Hutchings
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
JohnF
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all?
Mathematica, etc.
Timsn274
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all?
Mathematica, etc.
Rock Brentwood
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Peter Percival
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
fom
11/18/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Peter Percival

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