On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 2:04 PM, Joe Niederberger <firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote:
> Kirby says: > >So it was never really about "subroutines" not being > "mathematical" enough. That turned out to be a red > herring, and therefore so is much of this thread, > in terms of the argument it proposes to be > offering. > > Your whole silly rant that has the above quote near the end is obviously > directed at sentiments I *supposedly* advanced. Like Robert, you can't > simply hear what I'm saying without layering on your own interpretation. > >
I mentioned Robert's views specifically but only mentioned yours in passing in referring to computer science as some "bastard offspring" of mathematics (I left a footnote to that one).
I didn't find that an especially illuminating narrative and supplied my own, taking it back to Leibniz and mentioning Pascal and Ada. I didn't start with Von Neumann or anyone in the 1900s.
> What I said, paraphrasing, was that programs and computations (complete > with side-effects) can be viewed as mathematical objects, it can be useful > to view them as such, but that its not always appreciated. The whole bit > about FP and side-effects was simply a clarification of Lou's blanket > statement that programming language functions are implementations of the > mathematician's functions. Nowhere did I make any big deal out of that > clarification or *ever* pronounce anywhere in this thread that some > languages aren't good enough yadda yadda yadda. Good enough for what? >
I did find this paragraph of yours rather worthless, if you want to circle where we actually disagree:
""" Nevertheless, it is the language being rather different that makes me think they maybe should be taught as separate subjects at least in grade school and probably high school. Kirby's example of "function" is a good example - similar enough to be confusing, different enough so that you might get the wrong idea. Kids can compartmentalize all those different meanings well enough, but presenting them in the same "class" might be a bit much. """
So should we segregate the calculator-users to their separate "not math" track too? Because cos( x ) on a calculator might given kids the wrong idea?
> What I did offer early on, and has *not* been the subject of much > discussion, it that kids can learn programming in grade school. I said > nothing about qualifications of languages in that context. >
There's tons of literature on that as you know. Teaching kids to program is considered cute. Teaching high schoolers some programming and calling it "computational math" is considered not-so-cute for some reason.
> What Robert and I have been going on about, as I see it, is his usual > either-or dichotomy between math and computer science. Between book > learnin' and (folk)art. >
Yes, you two have been having an irrelevant side conversation that has very little to do with anything math-teachy. Big yawn. It's what's called a "pissing contest" nothing more, with one of the participants especially partial to private language.
> You're barking at shadows. >
I agree. Shadows.
> > If there's something bogus here, it your whole premise that it somehow > important to make sure functions are introduced in a "CS Friendly" way. > They should be introduced in a way that makes the concept (such as it is) > useful in context. >
What "context" do you refer to? I've been very clear about my context: Cascadia, Silicon Forest, high tech sector, kids relegated to bogus under-informing, obsolete curricula hatched in the 1900s by computer illiterate textbook committees. Time to upgrade. Way overdue in fact.