Discrete Math and Programming

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53 Replies - 2798 Views - Last Post: 10 July 2013 - 02:24 PM

#16 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:36 AM

View PostCTphpnwb, on 08 July 2013 - 11:02 AM, said:

The point being that if all you focus on is writing code then your vision will be too narrow to be useful to you or your employer.


This is true.

Quote

I wasn't saying that proportional fonts didn't exist. I was saying they didn't exist in the computers of the day and that most (nearly all) computer people couldn't see the need for them.


TeX was worked on by many of the most important hackers of the day, and it had wide and immediate uptake, both among the technical community and among the academics writing papers on computers. For example, my father (a linguist, not a programmer) was using TeX to lay out his papers in the early 1980s, because this is what everyone did.

Programmers didn't see a need to display source in pretty fonts, but typesetting and layout were problems that many people worked on, and most serious "computer people" recognized as important or interesting ones. People hacking BASIC on microcomputers did not represent the main stream of computing at the time, I'm afraid.

Steve Jobs' only accomplishment in this regard was to recognize that the word processors he saw at Xerox were prettier to look at than the ones he had on his Apple ][. I don't know if you've ever had a chance to play with a Dandelion, but they had a word processor that is clearly the source for all of the features that appear in the initial releases of Word and MacWrite. (not surprising in either case, of course - Jobs's team was instructed to duplicate the Dandelion, and Word was headed up by Charles Simonyi, who had come directly from PARC)

I know you're a big Apple fan, and that's totally cool, but really the level of innovation that the first iterations of the Macintosh represent is pretty minimal.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 08 July 2013 - 09:40 AM

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#17 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:30 AM

<sarcasm>Right. Bringing typesetting from proprietary, incredibly expensive and highly specialized machines specific to a niche industry into personal computers was an obvious no-brainer that the rest of the computer industry embraced immediately and whole-heartedly.</sarcasm>
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#18 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:39 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 08 July 2013 - 10:35 AM, said:

View Postbaavgai, on 08 July 2013 - 10:19 AM, said:

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 08 July 2013 - 10:46 AM, said:

Calculus was developed to deal with Physics problems.


Not quite. Calculus was developed. It happens to be eminently applicable to physics problems and Newton offered good examples of this.


If you really want to get pedantic, Mac's statement is not false. Newton invented calculus to model problems in physics. Leibniz invented calculus, but not to model problems in physics. Since one of the inventions of calculus was for modeling physics, it's true that "calculus was developed to deal with physics problems". :)/>


Yep, exactly what I was going to say.

Calculus was one of those discoveries that was found independently by various people at the same time (kiddies call this the zeitgeist I think?), and Newton's invention of it (where we get the dx/dy notation) was specifically for physics use.
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#19 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

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<sarcasm>Right. Bringing typesetting from proprietary, incredibly expensive and highly specialized machines specific to a niche industry into personal computers was an obvious no-brainer that the rest of the computer industry embraced immediately and whole-heartedly.</sarcasm>


That's what I said: Jobs' accomplishment was seeing that this was prettier. That made him smarter than the management at Xerox, who notoriously had no idea what they had at PARC.
This is marketing, not computer science.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 08 July 2013 - 10:55 AM

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#20 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

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Newton's invention of it

Newtonian notation is actually the f'(x) notation, while Leibnitzian notation is dy/dx.
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#21 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

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Newtonian notation is actually the f'(x) notation, while Leibnitzian notation is dy/dx.


As a point of trivia, Charles Babbage was one of the main proponents of the Leibniz notation, and probably he and his little circle did more than most people to establish it as the standard.

But I think Newton's notation was actually a little more cumbersome than the f'(x), wasn't it?

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 08 July 2013 - 10:53 AM

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#22 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:19 AM

Not really sure. It wouldn't surprise me though. Leibnitzian notation is more mathematically accurate. The first derivative dy/dx is the of y per additional unit of x. Fractional notation describes this better than f'(x). In ODEs, the y' notation is used more because it's easier. PDEs are where the Leibnitzian notation comes back, as it more clearly describes the relations of the changes (ie., does y change with respect to x or z).
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#23 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:54 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 08 July 2013 - 01:50 PM, said:

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<sarcasm>Right. Bringing typesetting from proprietary, incredibly expensive and highly specialized machines specific to a niche industry into personal computers was an obvious no-brainer that the rest of the computer industry embraced immediately and whole-heartedly.</sarcasm>


That's what I said: Jobs' accomplishment was seeing that this was prettier. That made him smarter than the management at Xerox, who notoriously had no idea what they had at PARC.
This is marketing, not computer science.

Which brings us back to my point: Marketing (not advertising) is important. Not just to a business, but to entire industries, including computers. Calligraphy is also important, as is literature, history, biology, chemistry, music, painting, etc. You can only be a code monkey if you don't have some understanding of these and many other subjects. The humility to understand that computer programming is only a tiny sliver of what is knowable is also helpful. With it you can avoid being like those who for years derided the gui along with proportional fonts as "toys" and instead be one who helps usher in the next great thing. And ushering in fonts/gui was a huge feat, not at all minimal especially considering what he was up against.
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#24 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:16 PM

View PostCTphpnwb, on 08 July 2013 - 01:54 PM, said:

Which brings us back to my point: Marketing (not advertising) is important.


But has nothing to do with math or programming or computer science or this thread - so let's leave your weird little Steve Jobs fetish aside, shall we?

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 08 July 2013 - 12:17 PM

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#25 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:18 PM

I thought the Steve Jobs comment was appropriate, given that we were talking about Newton and what not.
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#26 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:23 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 08 July 2013 - 02:18 PM, said:

I thought the Steve Jobs comment was appropriate, given that we were talking about Newton and what not.



Wow, someone remembers the Newton!
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#27 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:24 PM

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#28 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:44 PM

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#29 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:45 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 08 July 2013 - 03:16 PM, said:

View PostCTphpnwb, on 08 July 2013 - 01:54 PM, said:

Which brings us back to my point: Marketing (not advertising) is important.


But has nothing to do with math or programming or computer science or this thread - so let's leave your weird little Steve Jobs fetish aside, shall we?

How could you so completely miss the point? It has plenty to do with programming! It's the difference between being a programmer and being a developer! One is a low paid lackey who needs every little detail spelled out for him so he can go through the motions of generating code, and the other can take an idea and turn it into something useful with minimal direction.

Let's leave your dislike of SJ out of this, shall we? He wasn't the nicest guy in the world, but odds are you wouldn't like one or more of Newton, Maxwell, Tesla, or Einstein if you met them either. Or maybe you just don't like him because he wasn't an engineer/programmer, in which case you've missed the point by a larger margin than I thought!
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#30 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Discrete Math and Programming

Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:54 PM

I didnt think it was possible, but y'all have managed to start a lounge thread less exciting than "what music do you listen to". Bravo.

Boring. ass. shit. kids.
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