[Edu-sig] More Pycon threads...

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Tue Mar 18 19:51:39 CET 2008

I've uploaded a few Pycon2008 pix to a public Flickr folder
for the curious (of course many others have done the same):


Maybe a little misleading to show that Hyatt, which I took for
the gorgeous reflected lighting -- we actually were at the Crowne Plaza

If anyone knows the name of the gentleman on the left in 00057
looking at the XO, I'd be much obliged.  He taught at Saturday
Academy (where I teach) many years ago, while working at Intel.
We had a lot of good conversation but I forgot his name.

The man on the right is Patrick O'Brien, whom I suspect most
of us would know from PyShell and PyCrust, part of the wxPython
package.  He's also the architect of Schevo, a cutting edge
Object Oriented Database which he uses behind the scenes
on the job.  Yes, that's whiskey in our cups (Bushmills, provided
by yours truly).

00063 deserves an explanation.  That's the ceiling of the atrium,
the big common area outside the ballrooms and above the small
rooms where we had the BOFs.  This is a common spaceframe in
today's architecture, known as the octet-truss, for which Bucky
Fuller gained a patent (long since expired).  It links to my talk
in the sense that balls piled up in a tetrahedron or half-octahedron
make this same pattern (if you interconnect adjacent ball
centers with rods).  Ball packing, triangular and tetrahedral
numbers, are important topics in my classroom.**

As for that talk, Ian Benson of sociality.tv is very involved in
the workflow by which raw video of speaker talks is transcoded
to digital and made available.  He chose mine as a way of demoing
his trademark post production process and hopes to have something
viewable in the not too distant future.  I'll post a link when one
becomes available.

Ian knows a huge amount about the pedagogy of working with
young children since Piaget and Papert, the many forks in that
road.  I'm learning a lot from the guy.  He spearheads an
algebraFirst initiative, which helps kids develop their intuitions
around abstract algebra even before they learn the standard
arithmetical algorithms, normally considered a starting place.
You'll see a book he was sharing prominently featured in those
same Pycon pix (Patrick is holding my copy).

00060 is a picture of Ed Leafe, the man behind Dabo, a Pythonic
implementation of an xBase-like database development
framework ala FoxPro (another subculture I work in).

I also had some quality time talking with Jonah, who has an
enviable position within the Columbia University namespace.
He claims to lurk on this list.  Hi Jonah!

in west Pennsylvania

Cc:  Ian

** http://www.grunch.net/synergetics/octet.html
(note:  Alexander Graham Bell was deeply into this same
truss -- something Bucky Fuller didn't know until later
(all important history in my math classroom)).

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