[plt-scheme] Project Euler

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Sat May 5 19:03:15 EDT 2007

On May 5, 2007, at 5:45 PM, Richard Cleis wrote:

>> [... snip]
>>> After all, programs are mathematical constructs (which happen to  
>>> execute) built by people. The building of programs requires some  
>>> mathematical understanding even if the writer does not realize  
>>> it. Perhaps, it is time to think of mathematics as programming.  
>>> Now, that would be a cool paradigm shift!
>> We have worked on this shift for 12 years. See "rebels with a  
>> cause" for example.
>> My first NSF proposal on TS!/PLT was "replacing mathematics with  
>> programming." You can imagine where that got me then
> What is "Rebels with a Cause?"  My Google searches are hammered  
> with a Hacktivism book.

Try "matthias felleisen rebel with a cause". It's an article in  
Thomson's quarterly magazine on what I tried to do.

> How literal is the phrase "replacing mathematics with programming?"

Nearly literal. The goal would be to bring across the idea of a  
FUNCTION, the central concept of high school mathematics, without  
violating the central tenet of mathematics, and yet increasing its  
value to students.

> Regarding students who are afraid of mathematics...  What is the  
> reason that they study computer science?

I wasn't speaking of students who have chosen to study programming  
but of students who are (forced to) taking mathematics courses. I  
think FUNCTIONAL programming could help these kids understand so much  
more about mathematics and especially functions and word problems.

I have many times considered rewriting a mathematical text book from  
algebra or even geometry in FP/Scheme (with appropriate teachpacks).  
I don't have the time.

-- Matthias


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