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Topic: Structured Programming
Replies: 103   Last Post: Mar 25, 2014 12:33 AM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 kirby urner Posts: 2,578 Registered: 11/29/05
Re: Structured Programming
Posted: Mar 7, 2014 7:25 AM
 att1.html (5.5 K)

On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 11:57 PM, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> wrote:

> On Mar 6, 2014, at 11:22 PM, kirby urner <kirby.urner@gmail.com> wrote:
>

> >
> > Yet here you are back to teaching students that f(x) means something

> like...
> >
> > int factorial(int n) {
> > if (n == 1) return n;
> > return n * factorial(n - 1);
> > }
> >
> > Isn't it a lot easier, in math class, to get the point across by saying

> n! = 1 * 2 * 3 * ... * n?
> >
> >
> > They'll probably use a calculator rather than something they wrote
> > in code. They won't use pencil and paper much.
> >
> > Factorial is used in probabilities / combinatorics, so we would be
> > adding more functions to this one soon, making use of factorial().

>
> I don't think you understood what I meant. The factorial *function* falls
> out of and intertwines with all the mathematics of combinatorics and
> probability. How did you reduce that to *the factorial* is used in
> probabilities and combinatorics? Is used? I just hope your book is like
> Litvin's in that it treats the mathematics behind the application, before
> the application.
>
> http://www.skylit.com/python/text/Chapter05.pdf
> http://www.skylit.com/python/text/Chapter10.pdf
>

I was using "the factorial" as shorthand for "the factorial function".
"The sine and cosine are used in trig a lot" would be a similar tautology.

I have not written a book, though I have enough web pages with graphics
(which I made, so they're mine to use as I wish) and postings to amount to
several books. But my goal is not to be the big textbook writer in this
picture.

My goal is to change the law to where math credit is available to students
who take courses such as those using the Litvins' text and a gazillion
other texts that will materialize in response to the opening floodgates to
this "new kind of math course".

Speaking of which, I'm anticipating Wolfram getting a slice of this market,
and Wolfram Language continuing to make inroads.

The Python stuff is laying some of the groundwork, somewhat inadvertently,
for Wolfram. I-Python and I-Python Notebooks look quite a bit like
Mathematica in terms of providing numbered prompts, executable cells and so
on. And SAGE.

Raspberry Pi (a \$35 computer with USB x2 and HD out), which features Python
a lot, now includes the proprietary Wolfram stuff for free as well --
without sacrificing profit as one develops a hunger to run it faster on
other platforms.

These tools are so much better than spreadsheets, which bury the algebra in
formulae tied to cell numbers. But we can use those too. Lots of
job-relevant tools to start mastering.

> That is all I am saying. You seem to want to begin these topics with
> programming while Litvin begins them with mathematics and then moves on to
> the programming.
>
> If your approach is different from Litvin's, how is it be different? What
>
> Bob Hansen
>

For the sake of our continuing agreement, wherein students have already had
algebra before taking these this new kind of math course, lets just say
we'll use the Litvins book for now, adding to the syllabus as various
faculties edit / recombine more open source materials, in a mix with more
proprietary stuff.

I'll be contributing (am already) with my input, but it's not important for
everyone to teach "Kirby's way" or "Wolfram's way" or any one particular
way -- we should separate content from legality as different issues.

Kirby just wants a new kind of math courses to be street legal, then we can
depend on the usual competition, "market forces" etc. for winnowing and
culling. I want teachers themselves, individual schools, to have a lot
more curriculum design responsibilities than we give them today -- again,
another issue.

Such "market forces" talk makes the politicians happy, as we're sounding
like good capitalists here, developing interesting work for people
(jobs!). But it's not what big publishers want to hear, as their plan is
to standardize and continue capturing lucratively vast markets.

The optional nature of these courses is also to our advantage: we're
letting 'em vote with their feet while not tearing up the pre-existing
traditional late 1900s pre-calc / calc track, so those wanting to stick
purely to "the old way of doing things" (older teachers mostly) will have
that option, at least for a couple more decades (a generation at least).

Kirby

Date Subject Author
3/6/14 kirby urner
3/6/14 Robert Hansen
3/7/14 Louis Talman
3/7/14 kirby urner
3/7/14 Robert Hansen
3/7/14 Joe Niederberger
3/8/14 Joe Niederberger
3/9/14 Robert Hansen
3/9/14 GS Chandy
3/9/14 GS Chandy
3/9/14 GS Chandy
3/10/14 kirby urner
3/9/14 GS Chandy
3/10/14 kirby urner
3/11/14 Louis Talman
3/11/14 Robert Hansen
3/11/14 kirby urner
3/12/14 Robert Hansen
3/12/14 kirby urner
3/9/14 GS Chandy
3/10/14 GS Chandy
3/9/14 GS Chandy
3/9/14 GS Chandy
3/9/14 GS Chandy
3/10/14 Joe Niederberger
3/10/14 Robert Hansen
3/11/14 Robert Hansen
3/10/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 kirby urner
3/11/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 GS Chandy
3/11/14 Joe Niederberger
3/11/14 Robert Hansen
3/11/14 Joe Niederberger
3/11/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 Joe Niederberger
3/12/14 Robert Hansen
3/12/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 Robert Hansen
3/12/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 GS Chandy
3/12/14 Robert Hansen
3/12/14 Robert Hansen
3/13/14 GS Chandy
3/13/14 GS Chandy
3/13/14 Robert Hansen
3/13/14 Joe Niederberger
3/13/14 Joe Niederberger
3/13/14 Robert Hansen
3/13/14 GS Chandy
3/13/14 Robert Hansen
3/13/14 Joe Niederberger
3/16/14 Robert Hansen
3/15/14 GS Chandy
3/13/14 GS Chandy
3/14/14 kirby urner
3/14/14 GS Chandy
3/15/14 kirby urner
3/16/14 Robert Hansen
3/16/14 kirby urner
3/16/14 Robert Hansen
3/16/14 kirby urner
3/16/14 Robert Hansen
3/17/14 Joe Niederberger
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 Joe Niederberger
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 Joe Niederberger
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 kirby urner
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 Joe Niederberger
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 kirby urner
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 kirby urner
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 kirby urner
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 kirby urner
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 kirby urner
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/19/14 kirby urner
3/18/14 Joe Niederberger
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 Robert Hansen
3/18/14 Joe Niederberger
3/19/14 Robert Hansen
3/20/14 Louis Talman
3/20/14 Robert Hansen
3/20/14 Louis Talman
3/18/14 Joe Niederberger
3/19/14 Joe Niederberger
3/19/14 Robert Hansen
3/20/14 Louis Talman
3/19/14 Joe Niederberger
3/25/14 GS Chandy