[Edu-sig] Updating some more...

Vern Ceder vceder at canterburyschool.org
Thu Jul 1 03:09:22 CEST 2010

Hey Kirby,

kirby urner wrote:
> 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
> eh?
> Belated congrats to Vern Ceder for stepping up to lead poster
> session at usa.pycon 2011 in Atlanta per PSF blog.
> http://pyfound.blogspot.com/2010/06/leadership-for-pycon-us-2011.html

Thanks. And I'm not forgetting that you played some part in getting me 
into the poster session business in the first place... ;)

We'll be issuing the poster session CFP around the same time as the 
regular talk CFP, and I really hope some edu-sig-ers will consider 
proposing a poster. The whole idea behind posters at PyCon, IMO, is to 
give a voice to speakers and topics that otherwise wouldn't make it 
through the tough competition of regular talks, so don't be shy.

And it was quite frankly a blast! If you weren't at PyCon it's hard to 
describe the super-mega-hallway-track-on-steroids atmosphere that 
developed. So start working on those posters!

> 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.

Yeah, I gave a talk to a group of Pythonistas in Indy last week, 
focusing on Python 3.x. They were an accomplished bunch, but not very 
familiar with 3.x, except for one who was excited about the use of 
Unicode, particularly in source code. His observation was that it made 
Python much more accessible for speakers of, say, south Asian languages. 
And yeah, I did mention your experiments along those lines.

There are some in the Python community who think that having to port 
things to 3.x is going to sap the fun out of the language. I don't agree 
- Python 3 is (deservedly) the language of the future and the future 
WILL get here. ;)

> 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]

And I gather that at least one class at UCLA is using my book, which is 
  solely Python 3.x (further book info in my sig).


> 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)
> (-1+1.2246467991473532e-16j)
>>>> n = 10000.
>>>> (1 + 1/n) ** n
> 2.7181459268249255
>>>> math.e
> 2.7182818284590451
> 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.
> http://www.4dsolutions.net/presentations/holdenweb/decimaldemo.py
> http://www.4dsolutions.net/presentations/holdenweb/PhiTo100000Places.txt
> 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
> epsilons.
> Kirby
> [1] http://www.skylit.com/mathandpython.html
> [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_McGee's_Alice
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uru:_Ages_Beyond_Myst
> [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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This time for sure!
    -Bullwinkle J. Moose
Vern Ceder, Director of Technology
Canterbury School, 3210 Smith Road, Ft Wayne, IN 46804
vceder at canterburyschool.org; 260-436-0746; FAX: 260-436-5137

The Quick Python Book, 2nd Ed - http://bit.ly/bRsWDW

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