[plt-scheme] Examples of Scheme (or Lisp) in real-world

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Thu Mar 11 08:38:25 EST 2010

In my opinion, students don't always know what to do with choice.  You
would be better off picking two good projects, from two different
areas, and doing them in depth, rather than giving your students a
bewildering array of options that they may not even be qualified to
choose from.  And if you pick your projects well, you can start doing
them on day 1, rather than this boring walk through minutiae.

See how Matthias's intro course does it.  And he does this with
students at a middling institution, so no accusations of elitism will
stick there.

Finally, sorry for the digression, but your statement about the cost
of an education in the US is so incorrect that it deserves correcting.

First of all, the seemingly-absurdly-high sticker prices are at
*private* universities.  Though it is true that "state" (public)
universities have gotten much more expensive (in sticker price)
lately, there is still a big difference between the two.  And state
universities have much lower prices for people from the same state
than for those from outside.

Now, even though the sticker price is very high, many people don't pay
the full amount.  Instead, they get a combination of scholarships,
on-campus jobs, and loans that make up the difference between the
sticker price and what their family is estimated -- based on financial
statements -- to be able to afford.  To quote an article from 2008,

  Brown University recently announced that students from families with
  incomes below $60,000 will not be expected to help pay for their
  child's education at the institution.  Also starting this fall,
  families with incomes under $100,000 will no longer have loans as
  part of their financial aid package; they'll be replaced by grants.

Thus, two students sitting next to each in class may have a difference
of up to $50,000/year in what they paid to be in those seats.  See


Also, some people may (in their minds) "trade up": eg, a student who
is paying the full amount at Brown may have gotten a very generous
scholarship from a less-regarded university, but may have chosen to
attend Brown instead, thinking (perhaps wrongly, but they are free to
choose) the extra cost will obtain enough value.

Of course, there is a gap between the theory and practice, and the
system is open to many criticisms, some very real.  But this
assumption that every US student is paying 20k/year or 50k/year or
whatever other number they read as the sticker price is common amongst
Europeans, and it's simply not true.


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