Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Intersection

I found the intersection of math/computers and human activity/life to be a bit of a quandry. Essentially math and computers like to be nice and tidy, where as life tends to be messy. One cannot put life and human activities into nicely organized boxes and theories. Yet computers become most useful when they support and create useful human activities. Something simple like this blog/journal entry for example. 

Yet in the teaching of computer science, most students are only presented with math type tpy problems. This does make sense, because these types of problems are easy to understand and can be used to convey certain concepts about programming, but I wonder if this limits the way we think. Expressing human activity as math and functions, does not seem to be the best fit. This is just a germ of an idea, that will need further developing.

2 comments:

Ceetar said...

If anything, while programming is conceptually neat and organized...It's really not.

And it's rare to get a job working from the ground up on a project, so much programming and technology is based on reading and understanding someone else's mess.

Ross Goddard said...

Right, because programming is the medium where the computer and human world collide, so obviously it will be rather messy. In many cases that messiness is an inherent part of dealing with life, since life tends to be messy and complicated.