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Re: Re(2): (OT) Should math (or adv. math) be required in CIS degrees?

by Anonymous Monk
on Jul 26, 2002 at 11:15 UTC ( #185496=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re(2): (OT) Should math (or adv. math) be required in CIS degrees?
in thread (OT) Should math (or adv. math) be required in CIS degrees?

I agree with most of your examples. (The notable exception being constraint satisfaction, whose dose of Calculus can be largely replaced with an appeal to common sense.) And to your examples I would add that numerical modelling (applicable in lots of places) often uses calculus very intensely. Lots of areas in programming use calculus, shouldn't we conclude that Calculus should be core for CS?

Not necessarily.

It isn't hard to see that every area of knowledge could apply to any other area in some way. But no academic program can hope to teach more than a fraction of that information, and so needs to not only direct the firehose of knowledge at students, but also filter it. Trying to not filter is merely choosing to filter based on running out of time, and excess verbiage leaking out of apathetic brains.

Given this reality, it is possible to validly disagree on which useful topics make the cut, but it isn't possible to disagree that something potentially useful will be cut. And when that choice comes, subjects that can offer no other reason for their being taught other than that they teach analytical thinking do not deserve to be spared the chopping block. After all, there are many places where students can be exposed to analytical thinking. Include one that does something else for you as well.


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