[Tutor] Lotka-Volterra Model Simulation Questions
alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Tue Oct 2 01:30:28 CEST 2012
On 01/10/12 21:05, Brian van den Broek wrote:
> On 30 September 2012 04:37, Alan Gauld <alan.gauld at btinternet.com> wrote:
>> like Greek!) Of course, the abstraction is powerful in its own right because
>> it can then be applied in multiple domains, but that abstraction is often
>> the barrier to people understanding the principle.
> To a first approximation, mathematics can reasonably be thought of as
> the science of abstraction.
Absolutely and that's what I mean by its general applicability.
> So, to say (with a hint of complaint)
No complaint was intended it was just an observation. But equally I have
observed that people who think they can't do math can often *use* math
successfully once the abstract has been translated to the specific. They
understand what the math is telling them but can't relate to it in a
purely abstract form. The math community sometimes forgets that not
everyone thinks as they do and to communicate their ideas they need to
revert to specifics sometimes.
> it is indeed possible for mathematical presentation to devolve into
> unhelpful abstraction (it is this that I suspect Alan intended to
> target), abstraction is of the essence to the enterprise;
I suspect this thread has been sparked because I just finished reading a
book (The Geek Manifesto) which complains at length about how few
figures in public life understand the workings of science and math.
But I think that the same could be said about scientists' understanding
of accounts/law/politics. If we don't expect scientists to grok legalese
why should we expect politicians to speak math. Those who can need to do
the translation for them, not just complain of their 'ignorance'. But
that's now taking things way, way off topic!! :-)
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