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Re: Constraints and Functional Dependencies

From: Bob Badour <>
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 21:27:24 GMT
Message-ID: <0zHFh.3245$>

V.J. Kumar wrote:

> "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 too have met idiot Russians -- even idiot Russians with PhD's. However, I can say unequivocally that the typical public highschool education given to gifted students in some european countries makes the best available public highschool education available in North America look sick.

   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.

Group average differences are real. Even with a full standard deviation difference, the bell curves overlap more than they differ giving even the smartest groups their share of idiots.

>>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.

I found highschool math boring even in an enriched program, and frankly math appealed a lot to me. It was far less boring than all of the other subjects.

   Why torture yourself if you find the subject > abhorrent ?

You don't seem to comprehend written english very well. Marshall's point related to curricula of courses not aptitudes of students. Received on Thu Mar 01 2007 - 15:27:24 CST

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