[Edu-sig] Significant drop in CS interest in high schools

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 01:53:30 CEST 2009

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 4:44 PM, kirby urner<kirby.urner at gmail.com> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> The reason I say gateways is kids increasingly enter high school
> already knowing quite a bit of the algebra/geometry stuff, e.g. our
> geek Hogwarts Winterhaven placed freshman directly into math-intensive
> chemistry, with moles 'n shit, and the kids did OK, just out of middle
> school.  So that leaves room for green field development i.e. we don't
> hafta wait 'til some "third year" to start with the digital
> mathematics (aka discrete, concrete, post-analogy, computer-based, or
> whatever community standard).

Oopsie, I said "post-analogy" which makes little sense.

This notion of a "digital math" comes from an older software lobby
here in Oregon.  Full disclosure:  was chief outsourced database
programmer for Associated Oregon Industries for some years (AOI.og).

So if there's a "digital math" there must be an "analog math" that
we're gradually overcoming, like broadcast TV is being overcome by
HDTV.  That "analog math" is what today we might call the precalculus/
calculus track -- very appropriately given how the latter is invested
in "perfect smoothness" whereas the hallmark of the digital approach
is to quantize everything, make stuff discrete.  It's basically Euclid
versus Democritus, if you want some philosophy department shorthand.

So yeah, DM and AM for short, and DM is gradually displacing AM, not
by neglecting calculus, but by making continuing series and sequences
come out of Python generators ala Litvins, other P4E literature
(inherits from CP4E).


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