New to Python: Features

Richard Blackwood richardblackwood at
Wed Oct 6 00:02:27 CEST 2004


>Testing skills about doing biblio research, summarizing findings
>thereof, presenting them -- skills which will be crucial to their
>professional lives, and thus ones they should be encouraged to hone and
>practice.  I got lot of that in high school (it _was_ a rather elite
>one) and a little in university (mostly in electives such as Operations
>Research and the like).
>The point isn't so much that I remember more about the Roman "cursus
>honorum", the contrasting visions of science practice in Comte, Engels
>and Heisenberg, or alpha-beta pruning and variants thereof, than if I
>had them spoon-fed to me -- none of these areas really made any money
>for me in 25 years of professional practice.  It's the meta-skill of
>researching some field and reporting on it which _did_ stand me in good
>stead throughout this time, notwithstanding the huge technological
>changes in the underlying infrastructure (I haven't had to read a spool
>of microfilm in 30 years or more, and Google's FAR easier to use than
>any library catalog ever was... but the overall mental skill of
>researching, digesting, and synthesizing right back in summary form, is
>still very much the same!).
Indeed Alex, I shall have to hone my researching skills (whip out the 
blade sharpener).  I haven't done much since my days in the University 
as a student.  The nice thing about being a professor, which I made 
heavy usage of, is that you can exploit your graduate students and make 
them do all the research and tedious tasks!  Reflecting back though, 
perhaps that was unkind.  It is an integral part of their learning 
experience though. 

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