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Re: (OT) Should math (or adv. math) be required in CIS degrees?

by abaxaba (Hermit)
on Jul 26, 2002 at 04:16 UTC ( #185419=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to (OT) Should math (or adv. math) be required in CIS degrees?

Perhaps I afford a different perspective on this, as I don't have classical training as a computer scientist, outside of a year of Pascal. However, I do have training in Mathematics and Philosophy, as well as Economics.

Currently, IMHO, most American collegiate education serves as little more than high-priced vocational training. This stems, I believe, from the shortcomings of our nation's ejukashun system. To Wit:

  • I recently read that approximately 1/3 of college freshman from the state of Ohio require remedial education in either mathematics or english. I suspect this is not unique to the Buckeye State, nor do I believe Ohio's public school system to be grossly underachieving when compared to the national averages.
  • Christine Pelton resigned from her position as a biology teacher in Piper, Kansas. Why? The school board, with the backing of many local parents, forced her to give credit for a semester-long project to 28 students who would otherwise have failed as a result of their plagarism on said project.
  • Even in our nation's hollowed halls of academia, an Ivy-League University has recently faced allegations of grade inflation, and, I believe, has had to put a "quota" on the number of "honor" degrees that is issued each year
  • .

    I don't think that "analytical thinking" can be taught. It can be honed in a classroom setting, and, to that end, I don't believe that there exists a "magic class" that affords such an opportunity.

    In college, I had a symbolic logic class (Philosophy Dept) that spent approximately 1/2 a semester covering prepositional calculus, three weeks of which amounted to memorizing truth tables The same material was covered in about 5 hours of discrete mathematics, where the ability to calculate truth table values by sheer intellect was assumed.

    I also had a class in abstract algebra, where the lectures, homework assignments, and exams were based totally on the rote memorization of proofs.

    Coursework that I had in Constitutional Law and Advanced Microeconomics proved rigorous enough to stimulate the grey matter, where two semesters each of Pascal, Calculus and Physics did not.

    You want good collegiate coursework to sharpen your analytical thinking skills? Bag it. Get yourself a book of Logic Puzzles, and complete that instead.

    ÅßÅ×ÅßÅ
    "It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead." -- Kurt Vonnegut


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