Re: Constraints and Functional Dependencies

From: Walt <>
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 14:58:25 GMT
Message-ID: <lSBFh.16125$sv6.11446_at_trndny08>

"Cimode" <> wrote in message On 27 fév, 19:14, "Marshall" <> wrote:
> On Feb 27, 7:59 am, "Cimode" <> wrote:
> > While I identified that you are handicapped by a poor mathematical
> > background whithout being aware of it, you are fighting the right
> > fight in general computing terms thanks to the enlightnment that is
> > brought by RM concepts.
> Please let me make a small correction to the above if I may:
> I am in fact excruciatingly aware of my limited mathematical
> background.

You are not to blame because this is a result of an educational system that does not place math as a priority in learning. Having spent 6 years in your country, I found the teaching of math at university level quite unsufficient both in rigor and level. At university graduate level, I was astonished correcting my instructors on fallacies and themes I had discovered mostly at freshman years in french university system.

What I begin to believe is that people who advocate RM in France and (europe maybe) probably have a more mathematical fundamentalist *bias* into studying RM than in the US where the computing perspective defined by the gang of four is predominant. Such bias difference on the same model may explain some of the difficulties getting some issues I have found to communicate databse theory with american audiences....

For instance, I have found puzzling and sometime irritating the explanation of mathematical concepts which seemed elementary and quite obvious in their impact over RM expression and formalism in my perspective but not to the computing approach to which americans are more accustomed.

It was my responsability to cope with this and adapt to this mode of communication but my frustration not to be able to communicate more efficiently and abstractly took over. For such lack of patience, I blame myself for some of the treatment (deserved or not) I have reserved to some people around.

I hope this ironic mea culpa makes sense and that we will be to communicate better in future. RM is probably the best thing that happened not only to computing but to math as well in the past 50 years...

<end quote>


I believe you are correct, but I think the syndrome goes far deeper than you have said. Basically, the US educational system has evolved a mthodology in which theory is quite simply not taught at all. What passes for "theoretical discussion" in an American classroom is really and extended introduction to the subject matter. The subject matter itself is embodied in a series of examples, that illustrate the real meat of what is being taught.

If the examples are well chosen, well presented, and carefully received, the learner can concoct his own theory, that will coincide with the teacher's theory in most important respects.

In Europe, on the other hand, much of primary school education is devoted to learning how to learn a theory. From secondary school through graduate studies, students are actually taught theory itself. Examples, when given, are usually an afterthought, and serve mostly to allow the learner to cross check his understanding of the theory.

Each of these learning paradigms has its strengths and weaknesses. Also, students who are highly motivated and very intelligent are going to acheive outstanding results in either milieu. But they are very different. Received on Thu Mar 01 2007 - 15:58:25 CET

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