[Edu-sig] quantum instance

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Tue Sep 13 04:48:58 CEST 2005

Scott David Daniels wrote:

>ajsiegel at optonline.net wrote:
>>I think teaching programming outside a context - as an abstract
>>discipline - is unavoidably problematic in this regard.
>I would have more sympathy if you would subscribe to the same philosophy
>for "geometry" and "mathematics."  As someone who has concentrated on
>computer science and "The Art of Computer Programming" for a huge number
>of years, I am offended at the denigration of my field of study (or at
>least what I perceive to be a denigration).
And I would have more sympathy if you were willing to deal  separattely 
and distinctly with computer science, as science and the "Art of 
Computer Programming" as an art.  I personally have very little interest 
in (but great respect for) the former, and a  good deal of personal 
interest in the latter. Maybe its harder for those who started by 
writing machine code  to make the distinction than it is for those of us 
who only came to the party when and becuase high level languages were 

It is indeed stimulating and challenging to attempt to communicate with 
a complex machine, and do so  with elegance.

But I don't find it difficult at all to maintain that the pursuit is 
different in nature from the study of mathematics and geometry.  Some 
wold argue that mathematics and geometry are there whether we as a race 
are or are not.  Certainly though they are there whether my machine 
powers up or does not.

>>I am not convinced "programming" as a stand-alone subject cannot be optimum as an approach.
>Why is this different from saying, "I am not convinced 'mathematics' as
>a stand-alone subject cannot be optimum as an approach?"  "Only in the
>context of physics or engineering or ...."
I believe computer science is a stand alone subject, and that 
programming is natural in the context of a computer science 
curriculum..  But I do that think someone like yourself is in fact 
actually studying programming in a particular context.  Maybe its most 
general context . But a quite specific context nonetheless.

>Please distinguish from the teaching of the computer science and/or
>programming that _you_ want to learn from that that _anyone_ might
>want to learn.
>>And why I am committed to annoy everyone until
>>everyone sees everything my way.
>Well, you certainly accomplished the "annoy" part today.  Perhaps I
>am just in a cranky mood.
Perhaps an attempt to liberate programming from the control of computer 
scientists is bound to annoy a computer scientist, a bit. ;)


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