[Edu-sig] Updating some more...

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 01:01:15 CEST 2010

Yeah, Python 3.x is not ready for prime time in several respects,
all talk of Eclipse aside, but that's to be expected as it's still
pretty new.

I've seen some buzz regarding the #python channel on Freenode,
where I gather some bots have been automatically steering
people away from the 3.x series.

edu-sig doesn't have any real time channel for assisting educators
or their students I don't think.  Too over-specialized maybe.
Asynchronous is good enuff, no need to compete with #python

Belated congrats to Vern Ceder for stepping up to lead poster
session at usa.pycon 2011 in Atlanta per PSF blog.

I think py-dev is aware of the situation with Python 3.x and
those planning to use that product for production roll outs will
continue encouraging its swift evolution.

As I was mentioning, the O'Reilly School of Technology has
already made the switch, as have the authors of Mathematics
for the Digital Age.[1]

Where I'm focused a lot goes back to spatial geometry and
VPython which I think gives just the right amount of "right brain"
gratification to let the "left brain" keep exercising those lexical
skills (programming, like algebra, like bash/posix/gnu, is
highly lexical).

Geometry + Geography is how the simulation games tend to
work, with a geography being potentially fantastic, a fantasy,
like Alice (in Wonderland) or Uru.[2]  Or a game might be closer
to real, as when running macro and micro economics
simulations (e.g. electrical grid management vs. home
appliances management).[3]

You'll find me on mathfuture (Google group) and math-teach
@ Drexel among other places.  A lot of times I don't think
the material is Pythonic enough to merit any notes to this list.
Sometimes I meet up with other posters to this list.

Using the Decimal class to explore limits some more is in
my queue.  For example, the number e, as in "e ** (1j * math.pi) = -1"
may be expressed as lim (1 + 1/n) ** n.

>>> import math
>>> math.e ** (1j * math.pi)

>>> n = 10000.
>>> (1 + 1/n) ** n
>>> math.e

My first exercise with the Hubble folks was to look at phi to
some 100 places and do a string match against a text file
with phi to some 100K places.


I did something similar with a Ramanujan series converging to pi,
however I felt my coding style was too ugly.[4]

This is a kind of real world convergence investigation that
computational math might include (as an exercise in coding skills),
whereas in the calculator era we stayed happy with much larger


[1] http://www.skylit.com/mathandpython.html

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_McGee's_Alice

[3] http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7111960&tstart=0

[4] http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2008/02/reflective-fragment.html
(has a link back to this archive)

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