[Edu-sig] thought re graphing calculators ...
mpaul213 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 28 04:31:49 CEST 2009
2009/9/27 kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com>:
This isn't the kind of critique most people have in mind when they
> start questioning the hegemony of the graphing calculator empire.
Definitely not, but what a great perspective, pun intended.
2009/9/27 Charles Cossé <ccosse at gmail.com>:
> > Hi, this has probably been discussed to death already, but maybe not: The
> > point at which fancy graphing calculators become "necessary" (ie as in
> > student career) is the point at which the calculator should be abandoned
> > Python employed. Just a thought ... delete at will !
> > -Charles
> Hi Charles --
> Yeah, that's not controversial as far as I'm concerned, like duh
> (meaning I agree with you 100%, doesn't everyone?).
> For the humanities trained, I have this deep level criticism about how
> the XYZ coordinate people ala Descartes and so on, failed to think
> enough about the point of view, i.e. the camera position.
> There's this convention of positive x-axis coordinates going off to
> the right, but of course if your camera is on the other side of the
> textbook page, so to speak, looking back, then the very same positive
> axis is off to your left (unless you're standing on your head,
> relative to the starting position). All this stuff becomes more clear
> when you run a ray tracing system and actually need to specify the
> camera position.
> Then you come to realize that XYZ has a handedness, that both left and
> right handed make sense. Current high school textbooks may make lip
> service reference to that fact, but students rarely appreciate
> handedness as their spatial geometry abilities are artificially
> stunted by the graphing calculator curricula which are disappointingly
> and narrow-mindedly flatlander (landlubbery).
> This isn't the kind of critique most people have in mind when they
> start questioning the hegemony of the graphing calculator empire. It
> resonates more with art historians, design scientist engineers etc.,
> looking for ways to point out shortcomings in the current "analog
> math" pipeline (easy as shooting ducks in a barrel (sorry for the
> violent imagery, diversity panel watching over my shoulder
> Here in Oregon, we're working on digital math. We have Intel, other
> companies, who think every school deserves a real math lab with lots
> of flatscreens and foss. It's economically self-serving to think this
> way, but then a lot of our students are interested in being gainfully
> employed in as silicon foresters, so it's self-serving for them to
> agree with us (same economy, duh).
> > --
> > AsymptopiaSoftware|Software at theLimit
> > http://www.asymptopia.org
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"Computer science is the new mathematics."
-- Dr. Christos Papadimitriou
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