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(This Is Local London)   One of these test questions is given to high-school students in China. The other is given to college students in England. Let's see which is which   (thisislondon.co.uk) divider line 383
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47691 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Apr 2007 at 12:07 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-04-25 01:47:21 AM
Valarius

That which you gave DiamondSmasher is not a valid assessment of his(her?) essay-exam abilities since s/he has not had a chance to review the materials. It would be a waste of time even if s/he had reviewed the materials since s/he has not had the luxury of understanding what is expected of him/her from Professor Cheryll Glotfelty, nor has s/he had the complete class experience.

Additionally, since essay-exam reviews are highly subjective with low rater-validity, unless specific criteria has been laid out, DiamondSmasher is being set up to fail by yourself.

So, your point is moot. I think you could have defined it better.
 
2007-04-25 01:47:37 AM
KrispyKringle

I did point out there is a higher level within computer science. The majority of computer science will end up in simple programming jobs. The field is supported by going into fields that have not been exploited yet (eg biomedical computing is hot now) But I also stated that to move beyond programming and work on anything big you would need computer engineering under your belt.

I am not a computer engineer, but I can see the difference. I do know that computer science, at the toughest schools, is pretty simple. If it's easy to do, it will only be a matter of time before it becomes the new unskilled labour option that used to be factory line worker. Remember, today you are in a job market where 70% of the workers are just technically competent with things like email and microsoft word. On top of the domestic job market there will be emerging economies like eastern europe that can speak english and can do the same job. India's solution to date has been to throw bunches of questionably skilled workers at the problem from the other side of the planet. In time the competition will get organized and competitive.

Then computer programmers will be the new GM line worker without the unionization. I enjoy programming, but hey I'm not staking my future on it because I look more than 10 years out at a time.
 
2007-04-25 01:48:08 AM
Tourney3p0: You're comparing to construction workers, not engineers. One sits in an air conditioned room and makes six figures, or close to it. The other works in the hot sun and hopes to god they don't lose an arm.

Sure. I'm being a dick.

See above. You obviously have no idea what engineers do.

It is indeed more abstract, and it's every bit as concerned with the design and use of machines. Is it more rigorous? Well, with the stuff I work on, if I fark up nobody dies. If a structural engineer does, yeah, maybe people do. But I'm not sure that is a defining characteristic of intellectual rigor.
 
2007-04-25 01:48:31 AM
GungFu: Feel free?

I was going to reply sensibly and not make you feel you wasted your time typing your reply...but I can't be arsed now, since you're coming across as a not very intelligent person to reply to.

Stupid Fat Hobbit?

Oh dear. So much self loathing there, mate.


I hope you feel better for letting off a little steam. Maybe you'll be a little more relaxed about linguistic minutiae now.
 
2007-04-25 01:48:49 AM
KrispyKringle

Again, I'm not deriding the value of calculus within specific fields, but people who assert that calculus is the pinnacle of high school math--an apparently common assumption--or a requirement to any sort of science or engineering are vastly overstating its importance.

I'd agree with that. Basic integration is important, but that's about the extent of it. And in industry...forget it. You'll never use a Fourier series in a million years.
 
2007-04-25 01:49:37 AM
KrispyKringle:

NO, we are NOT overstating it. You can get by without knowing it in CS, but that is one area. EVERY OTHER area requires a detailed understanding of calculus.

And, where did you go to school that they let you get away with only two semesters of calculus. Frankly, from what you've described of your college, it doesn't sound like a good school.
 
2007-04-25 01:50:40 AM
h to the 'ojo: But I also stated that to move beyond programming and work on anything big you would need computer engineering under your belt.

Er, what?

Computer engineering is a separate discipline than computer science--not a superset. Computer science is indeed an academic study, not merely how to be a programmer.

For example, programming languages design and theory, algorithm design and theory, cryptography, systems engineering, security, AI--these are all fields of computer science that are not merely "programming 101."

I think what we have is a miscommunication of terminology.
 
2007-04-25 01:50:52 AM
Alternative . . . Yes you can. You won't be leading a very informed life, but that has nothing to do with "surviving" or even "succeeding."

I've had tenured English professors who drive Benz's but couldn't explain why water boils or how to explain the difference between a median and a range if their lives depended on it.

And anyway, since when did the modern world become such a great achievement, anyway? We've seen what happens when civilizations get too advanced for their own good . . .
 
2007-04-25 01:50:57 AM
The reason students outside of the western world are so good it math is because it yields a much bigger relative increase to their future earning power. Generalizing like it was my major, an Indian student would see that a highly technical degree earns him like 100 times more money than a highschool diploma. While in the US the gap between an engineers earnings and say a master carpenters, is not that big. (In SF, where I'm from, skilled contractors pull in an easy six figures.)

Tell US highschool students that a technical degree will earn them 500,000 dollars a year guaranteed, then you'd find a lot more students with algebra books cracked open durring lunch break.

That being said, we still have a big problem with students having a poor understanding of math. A big reason in my mind is we offer a poor incentive matrix to students. Why work your ass off to get a C in math, when you can take an art class and get the same exact A with almost no work. We don't need to encourage kids to do more math we need to give them a good reason. IE 1 math class fills two requirments, math classes earn an axtra GPA point(A=5.0), free tutoring, etc,

Math is harder, but it is more important than most other subjects. Students need it more, and we should make it worth their while to put out the extra effort,

mind the soapbox,
 
2007-04-25 01:51:21 AM
Obscure: My understanding, from a friend who speaks and writes Chinese, is that it is a literal translation of the Chinese characters. Can anyone confirm?

/and what's wrong with "Oriental"?


It is, but I don't think they chose to use 'Chinaman' as the English equivalent. I mean, by that translated rationale, there's no Chinese word for 'Chinese'.

'Oriental', and 'Chinaman' are historically linked to oppression, suppression by colonialists, simply put. Wiki has a good write up on the perjorative nature of the words.

I guess it's the same in nature as the word, 'coon', and other historically racially charged words.
 
2007-04-25 01:51:38 AM
KrispyKringle:

You can't understand neuroscience without chemistry. You can't understand chemistry without physics. And you can't understand physics without calculus.
 
2007-04-25 01:52:06 AM
alternative girlfriend

The picture's a bit small, it's etched on an 8.5x11 and compressed for the internet. It's a lady sitting at a fountain in a park. And to answer your question, yes, as a matter of fact, I do use math. I use it very often. But my point is that it's juvenile to insult people (like this article is doing) because the chinese are so apt at working with seemingly complex problems.

Look closely at the problem it's giving... has that, honestly, EVER applied to you in your life? Maybe the closest you've ever come to having to use something similar was in building that IKEA bookshelf you got last summer, or somesuch.

I'd much rather be able to create art and live creatively and have a creative job than be able to "prove a theorem", which does not in any way shape or form benefit me, know what I mean?

Let the Chinese do their advanced math, doesn't mean they'll be any happier. In fact, I'm willing to bet a great deal of those students are rather unhappy with their lives.
 
2007-04-25 01:52:11 AM
KrispyKringle: My school required two semesters, and it was true for both.

I will try a compromise. If you insist that all you were taught were recipes for intetgrating functions in your two semesters, you were not taught calculus. That was what my claim was based upon.

or a requirement to any sort of science or engineering are vastly overstating its importance.

See, I have to contend with this. Physical science and engineering deal with continuous change of dynamical systems (at least!) Telling me that the study of continuous change of dynamical systems through mathematical methods isn't useful seems to bring on cognitive dissonance.

Ask anyone who's ever taken any course in thermodynamics, mechanical systems etc. how important calculus is. These are physicists and engineers we're talking about. I could continue through all the physical sciences and lots of business and economics applications...
 
2007-04-25 01:53:25 AM
h to the 'ojo: computer science is not engineering. It is using a tool.

That's akin to saying that astronomy isn't a science, it's using telescopes. Much of the great computer science has been done on paper, some of it before modern computers were invented. That a computer can be used to analyze, visualize and test the results (algorithms, data structures, etc.) doesn't diminish them any more than using a different scientific instrument diminishes those other sciences.

/ all praise Euler
 
2007-04-25 01:53:57 AM
alternative girlfriend: NO, we are NOT overstating it. You can get by without knowing it in CS, but that is one area. EVERY OTHER area requires a detailed understanding of calculus.

No, they don't. Explain to me the requirement for calculus in the biological sciences, for example. I already gave you this example, so restating "every other area" is just faulty on your part.

And, where did you go to school that they let you get away with only two semesters of calculus. Frankly, from what you've described of your college, it doesn't sound like a good school.

*yawn*

I never realized people took calculus so personally as to start resorting to ad hominems over it.

It was, admittedly, not one of the top ten engineering schools in the US, but it was one of the top ten undergraduate institutions and one of the top ten computer science grad schools. I'd say I got my money's worth.
 
2007-04-25 01:54:00 AM
KrispyKringle: I've never used it in computer science

You've used discretized versions developed only after the basics of calculus were understood, I'm sure of that. No CS person can get through their undergrad enducation without seeing these methods.
 
2007-04-25 01:54:50 AM
KrispyKringle: Explain to me the requirement for calculus in the biological sciences,

Modeling exponetial decay/grpwth of populations. Differential equations are important in describing population dynamics.
 
2007-04-25 01:55:12 AM
alternative girlfriend

NO, we are NOT overstating it. You can get by without knowing it in CS, but that is one area. EVERY OTHER area requires a detailed understanding of calculus.

I had the pleasure of meeting some of the foremost experts in materials science, superalloys, aeronautical engineering, corrosion, and welding when I was doing failure investigations on jet engines and I'd bet you $1000 cash, up front, that none of them could solve a partial differential equation or a complex integral. So much of engineering is experience and common sense. Only the hardcore academic researchers get into the heavy theoretical material and even they tend to ignore the math they don't regularly use in their jobs.
 
2007-04-25 01:55:37 AM
2007-04-25 01:48:08 AM KrispyKringle

It is indeed more abstract, and it's every bit as concerned with the design and use of machines.


Engineers don't just snap their fingers and have a machine appear. They have to design it, thoroughly. Engineering has absolutely nothing to do with showing up to a site to use some device that was built. That's what people with GED's are for.

Is it more rigorous? Well, with the stuff I work on, if I fark up nobody dies. If a structural engineer does, yeah, maybe people do. But I'm not sure that is a defining characteristic of intellectual rigor.

When Windows crashes, people reboot and think nothing of it. When OS X crashes, people reboot and post on forums about how odd it is. When a bridge collapses, it's used as a case study for hundreds of years. You're just going to have to take my word for it that much more thought goes into engineering process than you appear to grasp.
 
2007-04-25 01:56:15 AM
Whoa, my typing has gotten pretty ridiculous.

Anyway,

KrispyKringle: never realized people took calculus so personally as to start resorting to ad hominems over it.

Do you want to reconsider this statement? You've been hurling subtle ad hominems around, too.
 
2007-04-25 01:56:26 AM
bobovski: See, I have to contend with this. Physical science and engineering deal with continuous change of dynamical systems (at least!) Telling me that the study of continuous change of dynamical systems through mathematical methods isn't useful seems to bring on cognitive dissonance.

But that's not all of science and engineering by a long shot.

Ask anyone who's ever taken any course in thermodynamics, mechanical systems etc. how important calculus is. These are physicists and engineers we're talking about. I could continue through all the physical sciences and lots of business and economics applications...

I never said there weren't applications, merely that there are more useful math subjects for some people (calculus is not of anywhere near the value of linear algebra for a computer scientist) and that there are plenty of fields that don't depend upon calculus, even in science.

Physics? Sure, it depends on calculus. Do the biological sciences? Not a bit.
 
2007-04-25 01:57:30 AM
GungFu: Oriental', and 'Chinaman' are historically linked to oppression, suppression by colonialists, simply put. Wiki has a good write up on the perjorative nature of the words.

I guess it's the same in nature as the word, 'coon', and other historically racially charged words.


"Negro" would be a better analogy, since the word isn't offensive per se, but has become so because of its association with a past era.

And I think that's really the problem with "Chinaman" and "Oriental".

Neither are illogical, and both are supported by historical usage. Just accumulated too much baggage.

I don't have a problem with that, but let's acknowledge the real reasons.
 
2007-04-25 01:57:58 AM
Bobovski, I think he was implying "health field" when he said "biological sciences." And since I butted into the subject, I know a couple doctors, and neither has opened a calculus book since the first days of medical school
 
2007-04-25 01:58:14 AM
Cant Let You Do That Star Fox: I had the pleasure of meeting some of the foremost experts in materials science, superalloys, aeronautical engineering, corrosion, and welding when I was doing failure investigations on jet engines and I'd bet you $1000 cash, up front, that none of them could solve a partial differential equation or a complex integral.

I'll bet you twice that they could explain why they needed a certain PDE or integral equation in their work, though.

/computation prowess is not equal to understanding
 
2007-04-25 01:58:33 AM
bobovski: Modeling exponetial decay/grpwth of populations. Differential equations are important in describing population dynamics.

Boy, oh boy. Did I say calculus is never useful? Or did I say it's not a requirement. You've shown that there applications--good for you. And you apparently really like calculus, so kudos on that, too.

Calculus is not a requirement for the biological sciences, just as it is not a requirement for computer science.

I'm done with this discussion, frankly, because it's terribly boring and you can't seem to comprehend what I'm saying.
 
2007-04-25 01:58:50 AM
Stupid Fat Hobbit: I hope you feel better for letting off a little steam. Maybe you'll be a little more relaxed about linguistic minutiae now.


You're the equivalent of the heckler: fark all to say, doesn't know how to say it, but thinks they're being smart and clever all the same.


Sit down and STFU, boy.
 
2007-04-25 01:59:14 AM
bobovski: Do you want to reconsider this statement? You've been hurling subtle ad hominems around, too.

No, I don't. But thanks for giving me the opportunity to. I often say things I don't mean.
 
2007-04-25 02:00:35 AM
Cant Let You Do That Star Fox

Most of the engineering students I've met have no idea about history, literature, the political system or how to get along with others. They think of anything outside of math and science as irrelevant and complain about the verbal section of the SAT being "inapplicable to real life" and bringing down their scores unfairly.


Most engineering and science students I meet seem quite well read on a variety of subjects.

When I do meet history or literature students they tend not to have read many science books.

Maybe I've just been unlucky.
 
2007-04-25 02:01:06 AM
Tourney3p0: You're just going to have to take my word for it that much more thought goes into engineering process than you appear to grasp.

I didn't say less thought goes into it. I said it's not necessarily more rigorous just because the consequences appear more severe. That's all.

My earlier comments about other engineering and "slap some concrete on it" were jokes.
 
2007-04-25 02:01:54 AM
Trinilos:

Yes, actually, I use that sort of stuff on a fairly regular basis. Of course, I'm a math minor, and considering graduate work in math, but my knowledge of the subject gives me better insight into a lot of the everyday things I do.

Math is creative, whether you believe it or not. I can create objects that can't exist in reality with a strokes of a pencil. When you understand math, a lot of art takes on a deeper meaning, particularly classical art, though also modern art to. Don't believe me? Look into the Golden Rule, or Fractals (Pollak's work uses those extensively).

My life is more enriched because I understand the basic laws that underline our reality. How many people can say that? I honestly feel sad for people like you who don't know the beauty of quadratic equation or an infinite series.

Besides that, no one is calling those people who can't do the Chinese problem stupid. The point is more that individuals, who want to pursue the sciences, aren't being prepared as well as the could and should be, and that this will affect our economic future.
 
2007-04-25 02:02:02 AM
Obscure
The literal translation would be "middle earth people". That's right, the Chinese are actually hobbits. Anyways that's why literal translations are worthless.

I don't personally find chinaman offensive but I don't find most things offensive.

Trinilos
Personally speaking your painting sucks as bad as the undergrad calculus exams I had to write. Suck is universal, irregardless of field.
 
2007-04-25 02:03:28 AM
bobovski: You've used discretized versions developed only after the basics of calculus were understood, I'm sure of that. No CS person can get through their undergrad enducation without seeing these methods.

I mean, that's like saying that because you're using a legal and government system dependent upon millenia of western philosophical thought, philosophy should be an academic requirement to be a US citizen, or that because you descend from a long line of primates that are the result of eons of evolution, you should be forced to study biology.

My statement was about the instruction of calculus, not about its value as a discipline.
 
2007-04-25 02:04:30 AM
Calculus is not a requirement for the biological sciences, just as it is not a requirement for computer science.

It is a requirement for the practice of modern biological sciences. Computer science deals with the discretized versions of statements in calculus, and thus depends on it. Otherwise, neither biologists nor computer scientists would have to take calculus courses.

I'm done with this discussion, frankly, because it's terribly boring and you can't seem to comprehend what I'm saying.

When you say

KrispyKringle: Explain to me the requirement for calculus in the biological sciences,

and I give hints abour what the requirements are, then I assume I'm comprehending what you're saying.
 
2007-04-25 02:05:54 AM
While I won't deny that the Chinese questions are substantially more difficult than the British questions, if the English education system is anything like the American system, education is compulsory for 11 years. In China, it's only 9. Also, because Chinese education demands are far stricter, a lot of the "weaker" students, who manage to survive Anglo-American education to make it to college, instead prefer to drop out. Those who do take the entrance exams are graded and selected into categories based on their performance. So, while I don't know this for a fact, I would guess that the entrance exam doesn't expect all or the vast majority to nearly ace it, but it merely uses these difficult questions to select the smartest students from among the smart ones.
 
2007-04-25 02:05:58 AM
KrispyKringle:

You need to know calculus for biology. They even have a specific class at my school for biology majors, called, aptly, "Calculus for Biology Majors". It's important.
 
2007-04-25 02:06:09 AM
GungFu: You're the equivalent of the heckler: fark all to say, doesn't know how to say it, but thinks they're being smart and clever all the same.

Sit down and STFU, boy.


And here's me thinking the best way to respond to hecklers is to ignore them. Oh well, what do I know.
 
2007-04-25 02:06:10 AM
Sorry poisonpill, I missed your post.

I couldn't agree with you more. The beauty of most american universities is that you're introduced to areas that you're not familiar with, test the water around, see what you like, and develop tastes in work that you never knew you had.

Whereas the Chinese are under whip and chain to do incredibly well academically. So sure, they may be able to do better math than us, but you know what? That's driven out a lot of their creativity (and, admittidly, it's happening a lot here in the U.S. too, just not as much). While engineers and scientists were off hodge podging around, a couple of bike shop owners creatively invented the airplane. Being a calculating machine is no good if you can't use it for any other purpose than spitting out numbers.

/rambling, sorry
 
2007-04-25 02:06:22 AM
bobovski

I'll bet you twice that they could explain why they needed a certain PDE or integral equation in their work, though.

/computation prowess is not equal to understanding


I'm sorry, I don't follow you there. Being able to explain function on a superficial level is equivalent to understanding and competence? I don't think so. If I wrote an essay about why we use variables and their function on the SAT instead of solving the problems do you think I'd get partial credit? Of course not, for good reason.

Anyway, the point is that advanced mathematics are highly specialized. If that's your area of specialization, great, learn it and use it with success. But if you won't ever have to employ this math in your life (99.99% of the population) it's just intellectual masturbation.

And I'd rather have people who could intelligently express themselves than walking computers any day.
 
2007-04-25 02:06:44 AM
Alternative Girlfriend: My life is more enriched because I understand the basic laws that underline our reality. How many people can say that? I honestly feel sad for people like you who don't know the beauty of quadratic equation or an infinite series.

That's a rather sickening comment, IMHO. You realize that 99.9% of the humans who have lived and died on planet earth throughout history didn't "know the beauty of quadratic equations." Yet they still developed literary cultures, music, sculptures, and beautiful works of art.

I'm sure whatever ancient scribe penned their version of Beowulf didn't "understand reality" the way you do . . . I think he understood it in a much richer, or, at least, a DIFFERENT WAY, than you.
 
2007-04-25 02:07:54 AM
KrispyKringle: My statement was about the instruction of calculus, not about its value as a discipline.

And I've mentioned that. See my 2007-04-25 01:40:27 post. It's fine to be disillusioned by the instruction of the subject, but don't claim it's not useful when it obviously is.
 
2007-04-25 02:08:29 AM
Blood_for_Cream:

I agree with you. People in the sciences are very well read in a variety of the humanities. People in the humanities are not well read in the sciences.
 
2007-04-25 02:08:42 AM
bobovski: It is a requirement for the practice of modern biological sciences.

Funny. I'll give you two examples:

1) I'm about halfway through a book by Eric Kandel, who won the Nobel for his work in neuroscience. He's kind of famous for pioneering the use of Aplysia to study the biological basis of learning and memory. Oddly, he fails to mention how calculus played a role in his sticking a probe into the neurons of this creature and measuring how it responds to conditioning.

2) My girlfriend works in a lab studying learning in bird brains. Again, never heard her mention calculus, though my impression is she never much cared for it.

and I give hints abour what the requirements are, then I assume I'm comprehending what you're saying.

What does this sentence mean?
 
2007-04-25 02:09:15 AM
Valarius,
If I was paying to have some liberal professors spoon feed me propaganda, then be graded basically on whether or not I am willing to submit and agree with them when I do my "homework," I sure would feel like I had wasted 4 years of my life and a lot of money.
It seems that this, predictably, is the case with the example you have given us.
As KrispyKringle said, I have never read this book, nor will I ever read it. I can tell just from the title and description that it is a waste of paper and ink.
I don't know what you were trying to prove by giving this example of your homework assignment. Would you like to try one of the assignments I had when I was a senior physics major, or when I was in the MSEE program?
If I was interested in reading and writing about the indoctrination crap you are describing and agreed with the establishment in the department politically, I would cruise through the curriculum - dean's list, no stress, less than 1/4 of the work I did as a physics undergrad and EE grad student.
Any successful engineer reading this knows it is true, because the English and humanities courses we had to take to fulfill the requirements for the B.S. were academically a respite and a gift compared to our core courses.
 
2007-04-25 02:09:29 AM
trozman: Obscure
The literal translation would be "middle earth people". That's right, the Chinese are actually hobbits. Anyways that's why literal translations are worthless.


There are actually two that I'm aware of.

Sorry, only Cantonese:

Jung Gwok Yun = Middle Earth (Kingdom) Person/people
or
Tong Yun = Tong being the Cantonese equivalent of the China 'Tang', so Tong Yun effectively means, China Person/people.

Tang being of the Tang Dynasty of China, of which many in Hong Kong claim to be descendants of, but generally it emcompasses China as a whole, and not the clan Tang.
 
2007-04-25 02:09:47 AM
Alternative Girlfriend

I honestly feel sad for people like you who don't know the beauty of quadratic equation or an infinite series.

And conversely, I find that statement to be the saddest thing I've ever seen.
 
2007-04-25 02:12:13 AM
Science Majors are well-read in the humanities?

Can any science majors out there converse with me in Old English?

Sorry, guys, but "humanities" courses get a little different when you take 400/500 level classes. We don't just sit around reading Jane Austen, you know. A reading knowledge of two languages is required just to get a Masters.

And I'd love to have one of you "well-versed in the humanities science majors" to give me an essay on a Borges short-story by tomorrow morning.
 
2007-04-25 02:12:36 AM
one last time..,

KrispyKringle. Computer science is playing in a sandbox. Computer engineers are called on for enterprise level work because they develop things that they _know_ will work, and why. Cryptography can be worked on at an abstract level and simply implemented in computer science. For real world application computer engineers build the system. I interned at the company which has released the first quantum computer (its not the holy grail version but good for certain applications) and the point is that once again the existing low level cryptography of computer science will be superseded by computer engineers in tandem with physicists.

At best you're trying to argue that computer science is the science of logic. I don't consider that to be a distinct field and I don't see a long term necessity. If you want an example of why computer engineering is needed as a superset of computer science there is a good case study of when the Denver airport attempted implementing an automatic baggage system. Computer engineering involves the hardware and enterprise level where the costs of failure are unacceptable. It is also things like converting millions of lines of COBOL to C for banks. Engineering in general is half exploring new things at the lowest (or highest if you will) level. The other half is developing a solution for which you know exactly how it will perform. To use your building example, they would know what every limit there is on the building based on the design they created which probably uses a specially developed something-or-other because of its exact specifications.

Computer science on the other hand is best exemplified by windows. You are children in a sandbox and the last remaining fences around it are falling with time.

You have not defend against the prediction that computer science is just a new version of a factory worker. For farks sake, just because people get paid way too much money to be an Oracle admin today doesn't mean there is a need inherent in the nature of databases for someone to be highly paid.

There is a part of computer science pushing into areas not yet developed. Outside of that it is just programming. Simple. Easy. Accessible programming. That part is already the majority of the field. In the future it will be more so for many reasons that you could even guess. I'm not on here to scare you, and I don't even know why I am trying to get you to see reason before personal pride.
 
2007-04-25 02:12:37 AM
Stupid Fat Hobbit: And here's me thinking the best way to respond to hecklers is to ignore them. Oh well, what do I know.


No, you can answer back and belittle them in front of everyone, Little Fat Hobbit.

Like I'm doing with you.

Heckle as you wish but try and be witty with it. Please?
 
2007-04-25 02:13:14 AM
Any sort of advanced neuroscience pretty much hinges on pi-calculus methods. Of course, this depends on the scientist wanting to know "why" as opposed to "what".
 
2007-04-25 02:13:38 AM
bobovski: It's fine to be disillusioned by the instruction of the subject, but don't claim it's not useful when it obviously is.

In what sense? Useful as a basis for other things, or useful as in something I should have to study before studying other things?

Your claim was that things I find useful are based upon the study of calculus. While no doubt true, that doesn't mean I should study calculus.

This reaction from you and alternative girlfriend is why I'm not interested in further discussion. While there are certainly parts of every field (including computer science) that can use calculus, that's not proof that calculus is necessary to excel in those fields. This doesn't mean I went to a bad school (as alternative girlfriend suggested) or that I was "disillusioned" by poor calculus instruction. It means precisely what I said--that calculus is not the fundamental requirement for all science and engineering that it's frequently billed as.

Your example for biology proves that point, if anything--it's a use case for a specific biological task, for sure, but not a requirement for the myriad of other things one does in biology (unless I missed the memo about all biologists giving up their individual studies to pursue population growth modeling).
 
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