[Edu-sig] Happy New Year 2011!!!

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sun Jan 2 02:49:03 CET 2011

On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 5:22 PM, A. Jorge Garcia <calcpage at aol.com> wrote:
> Vi Hart is amazing.  I've seen that YouTube before.  You sent that link to
> edu-sig some weeks ago, no?
> I recently switched from using SAGE online in class to using python scripts
> on a Linux server.
> I wonder if I could do some graphics in this setting using python in my
> introCS class (aka Computer Math).
> I've been looking at vpython, GASP, pygame.

In my Martian Math class last summer we used VPython to get some
interesting graphics.  These were newcomer Earthlings who'd mostly
never seen Python before, but had a reputation of being quick learners,
privileged in the talent department.  My approach was to provide the
source code pre-written, as scaffolding, and just have them tweak,
building literacy that way.

 (screen shot)
http://www.4dsolutions.net/satacad/martianmath/mm21.html  (a lesson plan)
http://wikieducator.org/Martian_Math  (more background re curriculum)

I explain this up front otherwise it looks like I achieved a miracle, and
so must be lying, as no one believes in miracles.  No, I just used
the standard language learning technique of reinforcing recognition
over recall, if that makes any sense to anyone.

> Whatever happened to turtle graphics?  My students login to my sever via
> ssh, ie
> ssh userid at
> or if they need to tunnel graphics
> ssh -Y userid at

What is your problem with turtle graphics again, might have missed?
Oh, I think I get it (see below).

Gregor Lingl here on edu-sig has been maintaining that package,
which is cross-platform because working in Tk. **

But then you probably have any number of Java applets and
free Logo implementations, plus of your school spends dough
on software, the sky's the limit on cartoony 3D Logo worlds,
or so I'm led to believe (my budget hovers around negative
zero, where software is concerned).

> Can they do graphics with one of the aforementioned python libraries this
> way?

Oh, I maybe see the problem, you're talking about more like a dumb terminal
setup with X running in a server session if at all.  You're going over the
network to get Python.

Do they get a GUI desktop?  GNOME?

Sounds like they don't.

No graphical browser in this world either eh?

In my Martian Math class, each kid had their own super fancy Apple
with giant flatscreen.  Privileged Earthlings these were.  We used
IDLE, which works better with VPython than it does with its own
native Tk.


> TIA,
> A. Jorge Garcia
> Applied Math and CompSci
> http://shadowfaxrant.blogspot.com
> http://www.youtube.com/calcpage2009

** deeply buried mention of Gregor in this recap of
some 2010 activities on another list, FYI:

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