what is easier to learn first?...

Grant Edwards grant at nowhere.
Fri Mar 24 17:25:33 CET 2000

Cameron Laird wrote:
>>I don't know how many painfully boring hours I spent many years
>>ago in a numerical analysis class learning ways of finding
>>Eigen values and Eigen vectors.  Something I never had to do
>>before or since.  I can only presume that somebody who does
>Just as there are different languages for different
>minds ...  My own reaction is that computational linear 
>algebra is so beautiful that rendering it boring should
>be a felony.  Personally, I see eigenvalues everywhere--
>planting onions, coding HTML, changing flat tires.

And possibly so would I had I even known what they were.  But I
didn't know what they were, just how to find them.  There were
people in the class who thought it a useful thing to be able to
do, so I assumed it was just one of the many holes in my

>I understand that not everyone shares that perspective.
>Given a bit more leisure, I'm sure I can tie this back
>in to the Python-for-education threads.  Not this morn-
>ing, though.

How about: When deciding what language to learn first, it's
also important to also decide for what purpose you want to use
it, lest you spend all your time learning how to use a hammer
only to find yourself confronted with a fast array of sheet
metal screws.

Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  How's the wife? Is
                                  at               she at home enjoying
                               visi.com            capitalism?

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