[Edu-sig] nouns and verbs

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Mon Aug 4 05:24:03 CEST 2008

[  repost after delivery failure ]

From: kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Aug 3, 2008 at 8:20 PM
Subject: Re: [Edu-sig] nouns and verbs
To: michel paul <mpaul213 at gmail.com>
Cc: "edu-sig at python.org" <edu-sig at python.org>, Glenn Stockton
<glenn at globalmatrix.net>

2008/8/3 michel paul <mpaul213 at gmail.com>:
> In secondary math classes we often say "Math is a language", but we really
> don't teach it that way.

<< SNIP >>

> This semester, at a high school level, I do intend to teach math as a
> 'language', and I'd like to get really clear about these kinds of things.
> Thanks very much for any feedback,
> Michel Paul

Hi Michel,

If you haven't already, I seriously recommend you check out the J language
from Jsoftware.com, a direct descendant of APL's that is (a) self-consciously
an "executable math notation" (this was Iverson's shoptalk) and (b) is very
deliberately taught in terms of parts of speech, milks that analogy very
creatively and intelligently.  Verbs, nouns, adverbs... check it out!


Also, I did a few web pages on J myself at
-- Kenneth Iverson himself helped me with typos in 'Jiving in J', though I still
think there's one or two left (my responsibility).

I see nothing oxymoronic nor even perverse about recommending J on a
Python list, as my position all along has been you need at minimum two
widely differently languages, preferably more though, to get a sense of the
freedoms one has, when being inventive in this lineage.

Python and J would be a dynamite combo I've long considered teaching.
Someone should try it, report back.

As an intro math course, we're not expecting miracle levels of proficiency
with either out the other end, however we already know both communities
support a rich and relevant mathematics-related literature, complete with
lots free / open source code.  See Roger Hui's stuff especially, and our
own Tim Peters.


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