[Edu-sig] Math + Python: reviewing some themes (long)
kirby urner
kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sat Jan 30 04:53:45 CET 2010
On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 6:40 PM, michel paul <mpaul213 at gmail.com> wrote:
<< SNIP >>
A truly excellent write-up Michel.
I'm glad you're reminding us about Sage.
Your use of "Computational Thinking" (CT) mirrors Maria's suggestion for
what a course of this nature might be called. "Computational Analysis" (CA)
sounds like another option?
FYI, we've continued debating nomenclature (what to call these classes) on
math-teach:
http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2032769&tstart=0
For those of you wishing to join some on-line digital math discussions this
weekend, Maria has this information:
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=6961142&tstart=0
Kirby
>
> Oh, but first - if this course does happen I'll be using the Litvins' Math
> for the Digital Age. I love that book. I told my prinicipal, "You usually
> don't say of a text that 'It's beautiful', but this one is. This is a
> beautiful text."
>
> *M A C H Math Analysis Computational Honors*
>
> *What does “Computational” mean?*
>
> "It is said that a concept is demonstrated to have been learned the best
> when one explains that concept to others. Programming is precisely that -
> an expressive language, used to unambiguously describe all the steps
> involved in problem solving of a certain type."
>
> - Tony Targonski
>
> *Computational Thinking* is a new way of thinking that will become just as
> important to a well-educated person in the 21st century as reading and
> writing is today. It has resulted in new inter-disciplinary majors such as
> Computational Linguistics, Computational Biology, Computational Physics, and
> Computational Mathematics, among others. Generally speaking, computational
> thinking is the art of reducing complexity to a set of primitive
> operations. This way of thinking blends perfectly with the kind of thinking
> that Math Analysis is supposed to be about.
>
> *Students taking this course should not worry if they have never* *programmed
> before.* This course will introduce a complete beginner to contemporary
> programming in a way that will enable them to efficiently articulate
> mathematical concepts. *The point of this course is* *not learning to
> program, but programming to learn.* We will be using a very easy to learn
> language called *Python*.
>
> *What is *Python?**
>
> Python is a general purpose programming language that has developed a large
> following over the last ten years or so. It is one of the top languages used
> at Google and is also used at NASA, JPL, and YouTube and is continuing to
> gain significant attention. It is an extremely easy and fun language to
> learn. You can immediately begin to use it just like a calculator. It is
> free to everyone and runs on all platforms. It is also an excellent language
> for expressing mathematical ideas, and that is why many mathematicians and
> scientists gravitate towards it. It is just as easy to learn as high school
> Algebra, and learning it will help you better understand Algebra. After you
> have learned some Python you will be ready to use Sage.
>
> *What is *SAGE?**
>
> SAGE is a set of mathematical libraries built on top of Python creating a
> free and open source state of the art CAS, Computer Algebra System, used by
> professional mathematicians, university math departments, and even some high
> school math departments. SAGE offers Mathematica-like abilities, such as
> detailed 3D color graphing. Cutting edge research is being done with it, but
> it is also quite usable by high school students. Anyone who knows a little
> Python can immediately begin to use SAGE. You can actually use many of the
> features in SAGE without knowing any Python, but you will be able to use it
> much more effectively if you also know how to think in terms of simple
> Python programs.
>
> What you will learn in this course is how to *computationally analyze* some
> fundamental ideas of mathematics. Your ability to computationally analyze
> will provide you a good foundation for many important kinds of study and
> career. A student working through this class will be well prepared both for
> further study of computer science and mathematics.
>
>
> "Computer science is the new mathematics."
> -- Dr. Christos Papadimitriou
>
>
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.python.org/pipermail/edu-sig/attachments/20100129/03a14cb7/attachment.htm>
More information about the Edu-sig
mailing list