Yes, I think that’s true. It’s not a necessity, but still probably a good idea.

– Greg

]]>That’s a very good point Dhairya. Another interesting facet of big data is that it is shifting statistics from Gaussian to Bayesian methods, which is having a much bigger effect than most people realize. If you’re interested, I wrote about it here.

– Greg

]]>I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog posts. I wanted to add another value to coding, which is making math more accessible in the right contexts. Ironically, I started off as a computer science major in college and ended up dropping it because I couldn’t handle the theoretical math required for the major (became an English major instead).

Recently, I decided to give software engineering another go and found the statistics and advanced math more accessible in applied Data Science classes. Advanced math made more sense when applied to Bayesian analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, and machine learning problems. Part of what made is so accessible was the relative ease of Python and iPython Notebooks (ex: http://nbviewer.ipython.org/github/cs109/content/blob/master/HW3.ipynb ) as learning platform. I found theoretical math concepts more accessible when I was forced to implement in a real world problem (developing a Yelp recommendation system using linear algebra, Bayes therom, and random distribution sampling).

I think coding will start making math more accessible to students. Learning how to code is becoming easier and easier. The value it’ll provide is framing math as a more practical tool to solve problem. Coding provides immediate feedback and helps students how to think more critically to solve real world problems which makes the learning process more relevant.

]]>Very true. Thanks Robert.

]]>We are on the same page Greg. I am old enough to have studied logic, assembly language, data stacks as I studied what they called then CSEE at Cal in 1970 or so. Yes, the definition of basic skills needs to be altered. In a regime of testing, there is little testing of using skills rather than rote repetition. Coding can be done several ways, so it is a good proxy for thinking it out, but all of that kind of work is what really gives us a workforce ready to go forward. Build a robot, plan an improvement project, organize aid for the needy, these all require coordination, teamwork and thinking skills. Too many have a hard time when challenged, though most can do it if coached. Functional illiteracy is a bane.

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