Re: Constraints and Functional Dependencies

From: V.J. Kumar <>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2007 19:34:37 +0100 (CET)
Message-ID: <Xns98E68A1D7489Dvdghher_at_194.177.96.26>

"Marshall" <> wrote in

> On Mar 1, 6:58 am, "Walt" <> wrote:

>> 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.

> OT Free associating:
> Conversations with Vadim and others from his part of the world
> have convinced me that the point at which the average Russian
> student achieves US-graduate-student level mathematical
> education is approximately the third grade.

This claim is pure and unmitigated bullshit, an experimental result I've arrived at after having associated with many Russians that purportedly had superior math education. I must admit I'd used to be as misguided as you are in this respect, having been fed popular myths about superiority of Russian math education. I'd say idiots are more or less uniformly distributed amongst various ethnicities, and their native educational systems pecularities are almost irrelevant. Granted, there may be cultural influences coming from parents and peers, but that's a different matter altogether.

> US schools are firmly committed to single-streaming everyone.
> (This is a clear reflection of otherwise-admirable US social
> values of equality of opportunity.) This is done to an extreme:
> the *most* gifted students in a district will literally be put
> in the same class with moderately retarded students.
> My seven year old son is constantly telling me how
> school is "BO RING"; exactly my experience with public
> school, and apparently I went to unusually good
> public schools.
> I was in my forties before I figured out the relationship
> between mathematics and computer science. Up until
> my late thirties they seemed only vaguely related.
> I can put a modest amount of the blame for this on
> my university, however; they pushed calculus and
> more calculus at me, which I have never found an
> application for, and ignored logic, statistics, set
> theory, and most of abstract algebra. I suppose this
> in part derives from the perception of computer
> science as being closely related to other engineering
> fields where I believe calculus is more relevant.
> Barbie says "math is hard."

The American school gives quite enough to those willing to take (not in every community unfortunately, but the list of the best public schools is freely available to anyone interested).

If one finds math boring, maybe he/she can find something which is more appealing to him/her. Why torture yourself if you find the subject abhorrent ? For people who really like math, it's like a game of chess; if you do not like chess, why bother ?

> Marshall
Received on Thu Mar 01 2007 - 19:34:37 CET

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