Per the log entry below, I've been rubbing elbows with Portlandia's "intelligencia" again (comic book allusion), thanks to Chairman Steve (and Elizabeth). Steve is walking towards my place as I write this, having just met with the latter, the event organizer. Methinks "digital math" is gaining on "discrete math" as what to decry as not being taught (the ongoing media campaign I've been updating y'all about). The latter has the disadvantage of sounding like "discreet", whereas "digital" has these nice reverberations with "analog"  and that's precisely the distinction "discrete" was trying to make in keeping it quantized, as in "not continuous". People already know "analog vs digital" from popular media. HDTV is digital. Shows like 'The XFiles' get recorded as files, on magnetized disks keeping ones and zeros, or in flash drives. Analog records still sound good though; worth keeping a turntable and watching video clips about how they work. However, the reason this is probably not an important argument is zip codes (e.g. 97214) are free to vary as to what they adopt (or don't) in terms of nomenclature. We might tell parents: "the Silicon Forest is amazed and agog at how plugged up the STEM pipeline has become, like why won't schools share more digital math?", whereas in a neighboring state we might say something about how the lack of "computational thinking" is quite stunning (and stunting). Why Johnny Can't Code is still a classic, though I don't know why the author bothered to take an illinformed swipe at Python. Someone's partisan agenda I suppose **. http://radar.oreilly.com/2007/01/whyjohnnycantprogram.html There's no need to standardize on "the one right way to talk"  a sure way to get bogged down in nonsensical little arguments. OK, back to mathfuture. Oh yes, and the log entry: http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2011/02/opensecrets.html Steve will be joining you at Pycon soon. I'm too booked up this year. I forget if Michelle will be going, I think she said yes. Ah, Steve is here, Kirby Urner 4dsolutions.net Martian Math Digital Math Pythonic Math "Gnu" Math ** "The "scripting" languages that serve as entrylevel tools for today's aspiring programmers  like Perl and Python  don't make this experience accessible to students in the same way. BASIC was close enough to the algorithm that you could actually follow the reasoning of the machine as it made choices and followed logical pathways. Repeating this point for emphasis: You could even do it all yourself, following along on paper, for a few iterations, verifying that the dot on the screen was moving by the sheer power of mathematics, alone. Wow!" ... sounds to me like this author doesn't have clear concepts, is getting this fed to him 2nd hand, not through personal experience. Since when is Python "entry level" (compared to what?  every language has its newbies) and since when did we stop "following along on paper, for a few iterations"? OK, maybe not literal paper.
Yes, I like that a lot  'Digital' Math. It does have a different sense than 'Discrete' Math. However, down here in the trenches, I really don't expect that kind of distinction to be a part of math department discussions anytime soon. It will in fact come up for discussion in our department : ) , but it probably won't be taken seriously. As it stands, our curriculum presents AP Calc as the crown jewel of achievement. Everything points towards that goal. Along the way there are various acceptable exits for those who just need to graduate. 'Finite' Math / Prob Stat is one of those exits. It's basically 'Math for Dummies'. I really dislike that organization and would like to throw a monkey wrench into it. The good news is that this year I was given permission to create a Computational Analysis class, and I'm very happy with it. There are some amazing kids in there. I got a bunch of 3d puzzles in my room such as http://www.creativewhack.com/ , and there are some kids who take these things and create structures that just make me go 'Hmmm ... '. Truly remarkable. And there's one kid who is completely selftaught regarding Turingcompleteness, the lambda calculus, and just about any programming language you name. He is way, way out there. I just kind of give him space to do whatever he needs. The cool thing is  he's not cocky about it. His attitude is so great. He just loves this stuff and is eager to share whatever he has found. So in the Computational Analysis class I am kind of bound to cover the Analysis curriculum, but I've been given permission to do it using computational approaches. One of the things I've noticed is that though our math courses are called 'Analysis', the texts all bear the title 'Precalculus'. I find that interesting, as there really is a difference between the terms. 'Precalc' tends to be an assortment of topics that one might need in calculus, but 'Analysis' historically arose after calculus in order to remove philosophical difficulties regarding continuity and infinity. So I've really focused on that as a theme  that here in the digital/information age the power of the discrete has proven itself, but the curriculum we study arose in an era that was concerned about continuity and the real numbers. I keep bringing up this continuous vs. discrete, or analog vs. digital, theme as something relevant to think about. During the first semester I focused mainly on programming in Python and using it for sequences, series, combinatorics, Boolean stuff, different base systems, and so on. I of course used the Litvins' Digital Age<http://www.skylit.com/mathandpython.html>for a lot of this. Second semester I plan to use Sage more as the primary tool and will get into trig and conics and other typical mathy things. I could easily see doing a lot of the first semester stuff in a course designated as 'Digital Math' that would not simply be a Finite Math dumping ground. That would be a such a great way to go. But ... one thing at a time.  Michel On Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 4:49 PM, kirby urner <kirby.urner@gmail.com> wrote:
Per the log entry below, I've been rubbing elbows with Portlandia's "intelligencia" again (comic book allusion), thanks to Chairman Steve (and Elizabeth).
Steve is walking towards my place as I write this, having just met with the latter, the event organizer.
Methinks "digital math" is gaining on "discrete math" as what to decry as not being taught (the ongoing media campaign I've been updating y'all about).
The latter has the disadvantage of sounding like "discreet", whereas "digital" has these nice reverberations with "analog"  and that's precisely the distinction "discrete" was trying to make in keeping it quantized, as in "not continuous".
People already know "analog vs digital" from popular media. HDTV is digital. Shows like 'The XFiles' get recorded as files, on magnetized disks keeping ones and zeros, or in flash drives. Analog records still sound good though; worth keeping a turntable and watching video clips about how they work.
However, the reason this is probably not an important argument is zip codes (e.g. 97214) are free to vary as to what they adopt (or don't) in terms of nomenclature.
We might tell parents: "the Silicon Forest is amazed and agog at how plugged up the STEM pipeline has become, like why won't schools share more digital math?", whereas in a neighboring state we might say something about how the lack of "computational thinking" is quite stunning (and stunting).
Why Johnny Can't Code is still a classic, though I don't know why the author bothered to take an illinformed swipe at Python. Someone's partisan agenda I suppose **.
http://radar.oreilly.com/2007/01/whyjohnnycantprogram.html
There's no need to standardize on "the one right way to talk"  a sure way to get bogged down in nonsensical little arguments.
OK, back to mathfuture.
Oh yes, and the log entry: http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2011/02/opensecrets.html
Steve will be joining you at Pycon soon. I'm too booked up this year. I forget if Michelle will be going, I think she said yes.
Ah, Steve is here,
Kirby Urner 4dsolutions.net
Martian Math Digital Math Pythonic Math "Gnu" Math
** "The "scripting" languages that serve as entrylevel tools for today's aspiring programmers  like Perl and Python  don't make this experience accessible to students in the same way. BASIC was close enough to the algorithm that you could actually follow the reasoning of the machine as it made choices and followed logical pathways. Repeating this point for emphasis: You could even do it all yourself, following along on paper, for a few iterations, verifying that the dot on the screen was moving by the sheer power of mathematics, alone. Wow!"
... sounds to me like this author doesn't have clear concepts, is getting this fed to him 2nd hand, not through personal experience. Since when is Python "entry level" (compared to what?  every language has its newbies) and since when did we stop "following along on paper, for a few iterations"? OK, maybe not literal paper.
_______________________________________________ Edusig mailing list Edusig@python.org http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edusig
 "Computer science is the new mathematics."  Dr. Christos Papadimitriou
During the first semester I focused mainly on programming in Python and using it for sequences, series, combinatorics, Boolean stuff, different base systems, and so on. I of course used the Litvins' Digital Age for a lot of this. Second semester I plan to use Sage more as the primary tool and will get into trig and conics and other typical mathy things.
Hey Michel, its good to know that I'm not the only one down here in the trenches trying to do some Discrete Math in HS using a computational approach! I have these kids for 2 semesters. The first semester is called Computer Math which, believe it or not, is a course I introduced in the 80s using IBM BASICA that covered similar material as you did with the Litvin text. I used the Litvin text in Computer Math with SAGE all that first semester this year. However, my crew was not as adept as yours sounds! So, we only covered the first 6 chapters. Now, I have the cream of 2 sections of Computer Math in the second semester (we call it Advanced Computer Math). I will start to jump around a bit to cover some of the more interesting topics in the time remaining. The kids love using SAGE too. Funny you should be using preCalc texts in your class as well. The texts titled "Analysis" probably are preCalc texts too. In HS "Analysis" is usually short for "Analysis of Functions" or "Functional Analysis" which is really the meat of preCalc. I don't think the authors of those books were talking about Real Analysis. Also, we just finished a unit of conics in my preCalc class. We did everything the traditional way as well as using Graphing Calculators. Then, when I went over a quiz they just took, I thought I'd show them how its done in SAGE. These students almost fell out of their chairs! HTH, A. Jorge Garcia Applied Math and CompSci http://shadowfaxrant.blogspot.com http://www.youtube.com/calcpage2009
participants (3)

A. Jorge Garcia

kirby urner

michel paul