[Edu-sig] Re: How do we tell truths that might hurt

Jason Cunliffe jason.cunliffe at verizon.net
Sat Apr 24 11:19:54 EDT 2004


> I agree with Anna.
>
> Common tedious tasks that people regularly do are:
>
> * Matching "similar" names in two different lists (say 200 names in each
list)
> * Finding the difference of two lists of names, the intersection.
> * Making tables out of lists (changing the structure of a data set)
> * Generating repetitive texts, or graphics, with little variations.
>
> Knowing a little programming could help them.

hmm... yes damn right.
Let's add to the list above some examples of those in current large everyday
tasks:

-- Google
-- Proteomics
-- Shopping and Bank accounts
-- Communications and Internet
-- Geographic Information Systems
-- etc

The key skill to impart and develop is surely *thinking* clearly and
learning how to express that clear thinking in the appropriate language,
which include speech, prose, computer programming and also Mathematics.

I wish I'd been taught Math better along with the rich opportunities
programming provide now.
But more than the math, I really wish we'd had a range of classes in
*thinking*, play, experimentation, analysis, synthesis, algorithmic [logical
process] expression, etc. You cam call it what you want, but the issues are
the same and programming applies at many levels. The modeling process of
thinking and thus learning about processes is common to so much of life.
Computer programming is a wonderful tool to develop these essential core
intellectual skills.
It's also a path to developing proficiency in programming itself which
provides a delirious rich laboratory for mathematics.

-- Jason




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