# [Edu-sig] CP4E and the Python thread

Kirby Urner pdx4d@teleport.com
Thu, 15 Jun 2000 16:41:10 -0700

```I've continued to share re my "math through programming" vision
(these days Python-centric), on the Math Forum, in many ways
the hub website for the math educator community.

http://mathforum.com/epigone/k12.ed.math/tahwhawar (first
post of June 6 is almost verbatim something from here --
fixed a typo -- followed by two additional posts, so far,
Brian Harvey's of June 7 and mine of June 12).

As some of you know, Python is one of several threads weaving
in to my "PowerPoint presentation" (just came back from one of
those seminars where all the presenters have laptops and use
PowerPoint to help them walk through their talk).

Among other items of interest re my school of thought
(PowerPoint slide):  We...

===================

At the Oregon Curriculum Network website we:

*  Use Polyhedra to introduce OOP[1]
*  Organize Polyhedra as per the Fuller hieararchy (FH)
-- R. Buckminster Fuller being the futurist, and
geodesic dome guy)[2]
*  Use a sphere packing lattice for context (not
just XYZ)[3]
*  Use triangular packing (not just grid of squares)
*  Develop Pascal's Triangle (PT) as a tandem "hub" for
basing math explorations (i.e. PT + FH in sphere
packing context)

===================

In other words, there's an aesthetic/theme (as in "desktop theme"
for you Windows user) which converges with Python for me (Python
having its own thematics, e.g. Monty Python plus assorted snakes,
and lets not forget personalities).

Another slide:

===================

CP4E = Numeracy + Computer Literacy

Logic:  All need to learn some math
Some math means some programming (these days)
Ergo: All need to learn some programming

OCN approach: (just one of a great many feasible):

Python + Povray + HTML

... start somewhere, add more tools/skills as you go

===================

Another slide:

===================

Math content:

Fuller's Hierarchy (FH)
Volume table
Sphere packing context
FCC/HCP/BCC/SC (IVM)
Jitterbug Transformation
Angle/Frequency distinction
Principles/Cases distinction

Pascal's Triangle (PT)
Triangular Numbers
Tetrahedral Numbers
Fibonacci Numbers
Phi
Binomial Theorem
Pascal's Tetrahedron
Prime numbers in...
Trinomial Theorem
Gaussian distribution (Bell Curves)
Probability and Permutations

===================

My seminars these last two days weren't anything to do with Python
or math ed (directly), had more to do with organ transplants and
"cadaverous livers" (there's a connection here to "The Meaning
of Life" however, as in:  "but I'm _using_ it!").[4]

I gave myself permission to go to towards the deep end of the pool
in http://mathforum.com/epigone/math.teaching.technology/freldskeldky
discussing in my 2nd post how to generalize from simple domain/range
lingo to a more overview/big picture perspective, ala NASA-style
computer-enabled countdowns (t-minus whatever) to whatever milestones
(e.g. liftoff).

Then I assure people I'm not trying to crush more spiritual
vocabularies by sounding to "techno" all the time (on the contrary,
I'm leaving that door wide open) -- a kind of reassurance I'm sure
others would rather not see.

Only after posting this meditation did I discover Dr. Knuth's lengthy
lecture series on God and Computers at MIT, viewable/hearable via
the web thanks to Dr. Dobbs Journal.[5]  OK, well that works.  Knuth
has already figured prominently in my posts to this list.  He's a
"weighty Friend" (as we Quakers say -- nevermind that Knuth is a
Lutheran by the sound of it). This helps provide balance/ballast --
I don't want my school of thought to degenerate into purely cult-like
aesthetics (remembering what Matthias said about Pythoneers being
cultish -- a warning from a sage).[6]

Kirby
Curriculum writer
Oregon Curriculum Network

[1] http://www.inetarena.com/~pdx4d/ocn/oop.html
[2] http://www.bfi.org/
[3] http://www.teleport.com/~pdx4d/octet.html
[4] http://www.montypython.net/sounds/meaning/liver.wav
[5] http://www.technetcast.com/tnc_program.html?program_id=50
[6] http://forum.swarthmore.edu/epigone/amte/snuquoiyor
(see Feb 1 post)

```