[Edu-sig] Undergraduation

ajsiegel at optonline.net ajsiegel at optonline.net
Tue Mar 22 18:53:20 CET 2005

Paul Graham's recent essay addressed to college CS 


has a discussion of where he sees math fitting in.

saying, on one hand,  that math is *not* a core skill for a hacker
and on the other:

It's a valuable source of metaphors for almost any kind of work

and therefore

One of the most valuable things you could do in college would be to learn what math is really about. This may not be easy, because a lot of good mathematicians are bad teachers. And while there are many popular books on math, few seem good. The best I can think of are W. W. Sawyer's. And of course Euclid.

I think I could add a number of works of math literature to that list.

What isn't addressed is the intersection of math and hacking, in the
other direction: i.e. the usefulness of the some skills of a hacker for 
someone who takes the advice to "learn what math is really about"
as a "most valuable thing" -  and the more general and primary goal.

I found it a good enough reason to learn to hack, a bit.

And it nice to see that Graham seems to understand why that might
be true.


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