[Edu-sig] SIGCSE 2006 - Special Session on Teaching with Python

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Mon Feb 27 15:34:13 CET 2006

kirby urner wrote:

> On 2/26/06, *Brad Miller* <bmiller at luther.edu 
> <mailto:bmiller at luther.edu>> wrote:
>     Data structures and algorithms may not be exciting (for Kay), but
>     they are as fundamental to computing as cells are to biology.
> I think the goal is to get into these quickly and painlessly (Python 
> helps!) but not make 'em the "be all end all" i.e. these are tools, 
> means to an end, but the object is to get work done on some project of 
> immediate import and interest.  That's unlikely to be either data 
> structures or algorithms UNLESS you're a CS major or other kind of 
> math nerd.  Nothing wrong with that, but we're not prejudiced.  We're 
> *happy* to equip students with a lot of CS savvy and send them on 
> their merry way:  to be graphic designers, to be cartoonists, to be 
> vampire slayers or what have you.
Well we are talking about CS courses.  So I hear you reluctantly 
agreeing that there this it is appropriately core curricula.  The first 
2 words of the title of  Brad's book is 'Problem Solving' - implying  a  
"means to an ends".  What else? 

Kay? You admire him.  I judge his public persona harshly. He is 
paraphrases by an admirer:

""nothing exciting about computing today has to do with data structures 
and algorithms"""  

I don't think there is *nothing* to that statement. But his way is to 
overstate things, not state things.  I don't think that is appropriate 
for someone claiming to represent the high order of any branch of 
science - as he so claims.


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