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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: Use of CAS in introductory science&engineering courses

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg61662] Re: Use of CAS in introductory science&engineering courses
  • From: carlos at colorado.edu
  • Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 21:07:24 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <djfnco$avq$1@smc.vnet.net><djhsvp$sjn$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> The first Department of Computer Sciences in the United States was established
> at Purdue University in October 1962 according to
> http://www.cs.purdue.edu/history/history.html

I stand corrected.  Stanford CS official foundation
date is given as 1/9/65 in their web site.

> Not my impression.  I think that ones originating from math
> tended to have a strong abstract math flavor, e.g.
> abstract families of (formal) languages, automata theory,
> theory of computability. Numerical analysis contributes

In Europe (" informatique" ) much more than in the US. Dijkstra tells a
story about a visit to Poland (his seminar on Algol) that is hilarious.

> At UC Berkeley, the history of the calculus labs seems to be that
> if the instructor is a fan of some computer algebra system X, then
> that is used. The next year it is CAS Y, etc.

Here that is not the case. Since there are many instructors
teaching service Calculus (over 30) the choice of CAS, etc, is not left
to
them. The same tools are used in each section, so labs can
be reused and graded consistently.  Which ones depend on licensing
deals and  OS, and may vary every 5 years or so.

The point of this discussion: there are no universal computer languages

for instruction at all levels, and IMO there will never be.   In fact the trend
is fragmentation. When I went to college there was only Fortran, now there 
are perhaps 10-20 choices.


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