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Corrections The programming profession is blessed with a number of gifted essayists. Today I will pick on three of my favorites — Eric Raymond, Paul Graham, and Steve Yegge — because they all seem to disagree about why and whether mathematics is relevant to the practicing programmer.
Their attitudes might be summarized as: Mathematics is unnecessary except in specialized fields such as 3D graphics or scientific computing.
Mathematics is a sort of Zen garden from which to draw inspiration. Mathematics represents the foundational knowledge of computer science, and one can find a lot of interesting math articles on Wikipedia. All of these views, I think, are myopic. In a limited sense, each view is correct. If you are a systems and network programmer like Raymond, you can do your job just fine without anything more than multiplication and an Didactic essay definition modulus.
Graham is correct that mathematics can be a rich source of metaphors, and for his part Yegge is right that computation can be reduced to a mathematical formalism a fact that Lisp hackers love to reiterate with frequency.
They seem to agree on one thing: Lisp programmers we are told should be thankful that mathematics was used to work out the Lambda Calculusbut today mathematics is more a form of personal enlightenment than a tool for getting anything done. This view is mistaken. It has prevailed because it is possible to be a productive and well-compensated programmer — even a first-rate hacker — without any knowledge of science or math.
But I think that most programmers who are serious about what they do should know calculus the real kindlinear algebra, and statistics. The reason has nothing to do with programming per se — compilers, data structures, and all that — but rather the role of programming in the economy.
Statistical quality control reinvented manufacturing; agricultural economics transformed farming; the analysis of variance revolutionized the chemical and pharmaceutical industries; linear programming changed the face of supply-chain management and logistics; and the Black-Scholes equation created a market out of nothing.
There are many other examples. What is the relationship of these innovations to computer programming?
An incredibly good, and perhaps very time-consuming, piece of work that produces exactly what is needed. The computer was invented, after all, to solve math problems, not to implement compilers or word processors.
I would hazard a guess in the tens of trillions of dollars, and if you count the defeat of Germany among the achievements of computer-aided cryptanalysis 1and the surrender of Japan among the accomplishments of numerical computation, then the value has been immeasurable.
While I am grateful that we have so many well-written essays by Lisp programmers, I think they tend to paint a skewed picture of what computer programming is and should be.Definition of Objective Writing.
Objective writing is writing that you can verify through evidence and facts. If you are writing objectively, you must remain as neutral as possible through the use. Didactic Essay Definition. Definition Essay I.
A definition essay defines a word, term, or concept in depth by providing a personal commentary on what the specific subject means. A.
Most physical objects have a definition about which most people agree. 1. Most people will agree on what trees, windows, computers, and pencils are in general. inclined to teach or lecture others too much: a boring, didactic speaker.
teaching or intending to teach a moral lesson. didactics, (used with a singular verb) the art or science of teaching. ‘The clinical curriculum is intended to apply didactic content into the patient care setting and promote critical thinking.’ ‘Leake used didactic approaches to teach the surveyors how to administer questionnaires and register oral responses.’.
It is under these circumstances that Jacques-Louis David came to paint the classicizing and didactic historical painting Oath of the Horatii exhibited at the Salon in David favored the classical and academic traditions both in terms of style and subject matter.
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