I'm glad our UK math guy in residence, Sociality's Ian Benson, is planning to attend Pycon, just got his booking.
We've been looking at interconnected computer science concepts and their applications in early mathematics education, namely: disambiguation (per Wikipedia, but a general concept), name collisions, namespaces. The first two are quasi-synonymous while the latter is our solution, a honkin' great feature of Python, while also the purpose of addressing more generally, URIs in particular. The Java world took the URI for the code's residence or source and turned that around ala net.4dsolutions.ocn.mathobjects, a kind of package name. That's actually harder to parse than simple "dot notation" though, where we just go: Apple.Safari Jungle.Safari OReilly.Safari Here students understand, from their own experience, how we disambiguate three meanings of Safari using "dot notation", with the prefix, like in Java, like in Python, having to do with "the source" (we hope open) or, more philosophically, "context" or "namespace"). I think a barrier to using dot notation in philosophical literature is authors have worried about all those periods interrupting the flow, i.e. how will our prose be uglified if we start going like Coxeter.4D to disambiguate from Fuller.4D, a name collision it's important to resolve, if you're going to anywhere with your Princeton philosophy courses. However, philosophy has the precedent of embedding lots of logic, going back to Bertrand Russell, Whitehead and before, continuing forward, attempting, some might surmise, to realize the Leibniz dream of machine executable codes. But no, those have already occurred, in computer science, but apparently workaday operational logic like Python, in charge of baggage carousels, air traffic control (small Siberian airport, nothing major), isn't "good enough" to merit much Ivory Tower attention. Leibniz can go blow, seems to be the prevailing attitude. However, the Wittgensteinians, with their blah blah about "language games", had the namespace idea already going. And a namespace is not just a dictionary, even though it's possible to treat one that way, as in O.__dict__. On the contrary, a namespace is more an ecology, something intricate. You may wonder how all this figures in to 'Python for Teachers', and you're right to wonder. There's a specific slide where I go: Fuller.4D Coxeter.4D Einstein.4D and then explain how the last two are disambiguated on page 119 of 'Regular Polytopes' (by Coxeter), whereas the first is presaged in the writings of Karl Menger, dimension theorist, and carries forward into our own time through a small bevy or writers. We have disambiguation problems galore, given popular ignorance of the whole idea of namespace. They give lip service to "context" but don't get its nuts and bolts importance in the Leibniz logics of our day. For example, the Wikipedia entry for Synergetics is mostly about some Springer-Verlag thing, not our American Transcendentalist writings. That's not really a problem, given how Wikipedia deals with this problem, is more just another good example, something to use in the classroom, when explaining the basics to philosophy students. Anyway, Ian keeps a lot of mathematicians in the loop besides just himself, isn't called Mr. Sociality for nothing. Kirby PS: I jumped in on Chipy on some Pyro vs. XML-RPC thread, mentioning my friend Patrick, a possible TA at our workshop (works for Synovate, Chicago-based). _______________________________________________ Edu-sig mailing list Edufirstname.lastname@example.org http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig