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MathGroup Archive 1993

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Re: Mathematica courses in College

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: Re: Mathematica courses in College
  • From: fschwab at (Fred Schwab)
  • Date: Thu, 19 Aug 93 16:37:32 EDT

I agree with most of your sentiments.  

My own criterion is whether the body of knowledge which is being
taught is ephemeral.  E.g., will it all be obsolete in a few years'
time?  If so, then don't focus on it in a course.  Teach methods,
techniques, and principles, and then if it's necessary to work with a
computer language to some extent in the course, have the students
learn enough of some appropriate language.  If the course is about
programming languages, then teach something about one (or more)
specific language(s), as a paradigm.  

I understand pretty well what you're saying in your final paragraph.
I'm something of an aficionado of MMA, but only because I know enough
about it to get quite a bit of help in my work.  The logical underpinnings
of MMA, qua computer language or qua CAS, I agree are fuzzy.

                                        - Fred Schwab (fschwab at
                                         National Radio Astron. Obs.
                                         Charlottesville, Va.

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