[Tutor] fancy list things

Marilyn Davis marilyn at deliberate.com
Fri Feb 6 17:39:37 EST 2004

On Fri, 6 Feb 2004, Alan Gauld wrote:

> > > Hmmm... you may want to avoid talking about lambda, then.
> Concentrate on
> > > what you're comfortable talking about.  I'd recommend focusing on
> the
> >
> > Oh.  I don't mind exposing my ignorance (obviously).  It's a good
> > teaching/learning technique.  And it encourages students to expose
> > their ignorance.
> It depends a bit on what your students are. If they are youngsters
> then I'd probably avoid lambda.
> But if they are adults with a smattering of math background
> then teaching lambda early is a valid thing to do because it
> will teach them a fundamental concept that is very important
> in programming - namely that executable bits of code (in
> Python's case restricted to expressions!) can be passed around
> like any other kind of programming object, and the proper
> name for such a chunk of code is a lambda.

My students are adult programmers, working in the Silicon Valley.
I have to try to make the class efficient, useful, and fun.  Many
are sent to us by their employers.

So far, they seem very happy and engaged with the class.  Let's hope
it lasts.

In all my jillion years of teaching C, I never had all the students
show up on time for the first class.  But all 19 people made it to the
first python class on time.  What does this mean?

A few were a little late to the second class but all were present.
After the first class, I start on time.

> Perl has its own equivalent to lambda (but I can't recall the
> arcane syntax - its Perl it must be arcane :-) so they may well
> grok lambda easily.

YES.  I learned Perl because I wanted something new to teach and it
was so popular at the time.  When I started learning the OO 'features'
I dropped it like a hot rock and decided I could never teach something
I disliked so much.

Someone suggested I look at python, and like everyone else, I flipped.

> A final plug, my functional programming topic covers lambdas
> as well as map(), filter(), reduce() and list comprehensions.
> Alan G
> Author of the Learn to Program web tutor
> http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld

Great!  I'll point my students to this.

What a huge help this list is!  Something about this language is like
a generator of sense in a confused world.  I'm almost a fanatic, and
I'm not the fanatical type.




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