Why aren't we all speaking LISP now?

Steven D. Majewski sdm7g at Virginia.EDU
Wed May 9 18:06:38 CEST 2001


On Wed, 9 May 2001, Erik Max Francis wrote:

> Laura Creighton wrote:
> 
> > This is an incredibly bad fit.  The students, almost without
> > exception,
> > wanted hands-on-experience.  They wanted examples.  And they wanted to
> > write code.  The professors wanted to talk about concepts -- they
> > wanted
> > to do computer science, and (in my view quite reasonably), took the
> > position that if you didn't like this sort of stuff, then you didn't
> > like computer science, and maybe you should do something else.
> 
> They're right, to some extent.  There's a reason it's called computer
> science, rather than dorky programming 101.  There are fundamental
> concepts that, once you learn right, will apply to any programming
> language you ever encounter.  Teach someone a programming language, and
> they can write simple programs in it.  Teach someone computer science,
> and they can learn any programming language and master difficult
> concepts.
> 

 True. But trying to learn CS without knowing anything about programming
is sort of like trying to major in math without having evern learned
arithmetic or algrbra. 
 Of course, nowadays a lot more beginning CS majors have already been
exposed to programming -- either in high school, or thru their own
hacking. (On the other hand -- if I look to the local high schools
for an example: they're going to learn "keyboarding skills", but they're
probably going to have to pick up programming skills on their own! )-:

-- Steve (with 3 kids in C'villes public schools) Majewski






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