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Comment Be sure you know what you will be using... (Score 1) 583 583

If you have never heard of a programming language the company uses, there is a good chance it is not a good language to work with and you should probably stay away. If a business wants you to program in RPG for OS/400 systems, run away.

Comment I am surprised that it did not mention tachyons (Score 1) 226 226

They are just hypothetical at right now... but if they do exist, they will have mass and travel faster than the speed of light. They do not violate the theory of relativity because they always travel faster than c.... they do not start at speeds less than c and accelerate to or beyond the speed of light.

Comment Re:Controversial because? (Score 2) 284 284

Some readers may fail to actually read the assignment. But whether you read exactly what the assignment requests or not, the parent is right in his statement that the problem used an overly complex method to teach students.

I had never even heard of a "number line" until a saw the problem shown in your link. After taking a moment, I can see how it could be used to determine an answer. However it is overly complex and takes the students in a direction that shouldn't be used because number lines cannot be used when the student moves beyond basic arithmetic. While the assignment wasn't to create a number line, it was still asking a student to realize what was incorrect with one that was given to them. This means actual students are taught to use number lines when solving basic arithmetic problems, like 427- 316 = 111. Basic arithmetic is a foundation and can typically be carried out in a very simple manner by writing one number over the other and performing the correct action on each column of digits. It is simple and can be used in their future endeavors and studies. Drawing lines with many nodes for 1's, 10's, and 100's cannot be used beyond basic arithmetic problems. Why confuse the students by adding an overly complex method of doing things when they can be taught to write two numbers and calculated the difference in a simple and easy to understand manner?

Second, when children are young and still learning a concept, they should not be shown problems that are incorrect when learning about the concept. Searching for an error and explaining it may allow a person's understanding of a topic to grow if they already understand the subject matter. However, when students are still learning the basic principles of something, they should not be shown incorrect ways of doing things. Lets say a child knows that a problem has one flaw in it, but everything else in the problem is right... just like in this homework assignment. If the child is incorrect in determining which part is flawed and which parts are correct, then the problem could actually reinforce the incorrect way of doing things.

The parent was correct in his rant. If the assignment insists on having a student determine what "Jack" did wrong when solving a math problem with an overly complex method, then the answer is that Jack should just subtract 316 from 427 and should not draw a diagram .

Comment Re:Deniers (Score 1) 525 525

Why are you bring the Nobel Prize into the discussion? What does a man-made award have to do with Truth? Science is supposed to be about determining facts and truth. The Nobel Prize is something created by man to recognize what is believed to be a significant achievement. As we learn more about the world, we sometimes learn that our earlier theories are incorrect. It is part of how we expand our knowledge.

Ilguido is correct in stating that "an inaccurate scientific prediction is wrong by definition" and those predictions/theories cannot be used to prove anything. Changing and revising our hypothesis and theories when our observations and experiments do not give the predicted results is part of the scientific method.

Comment Do NZ's laws apply before passing customs? (Score 1) 200 200

Maybe I am way off base here, but I thought that when a person flies to another country,the traveler isn't considered to be in the country before clearing customs. If travelers do not get through the customs checks, they are prevented from entering the country. If this is the case, how can a person that has not cleared customs be sent to a New Zealand jail for 3 months for breaking NZ laws when they are not in NZ?

Comment Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (Score 2) 143 143

Unless they implement things like attendance tracking, a gradebook, a solid method for it to interact with the school's SiS, and several other things, no school will consider it to be an LMS and Blackboard will have nothing to worry about. This will only be useful to individual teachers that want to use tech in their classes instead of their school's LMS (assuming it has one).

Comment You don't have to work at a tech company to prgrm. (Score 1) 379 379

A lot of companies and businesses have programmers that do not fall under the 'tech company' category. Insurance companies, colleges, railroad companies, large store chains (eg: Walmart and Target), RV companies, and many other industries all have in-house programmers. All of these businesses and industries are scattered across the country. Unless you absolutely must work in a tech company in silicone valley, you should not limit your options. My first career oriented job was at a relatively small health insurance. A very large part of their software was developed in-house. They had some developers that were only in their twenties, but the majority of them were at least 40, if not in their 50s or early 60s and preparing to retire. Why? These companies see the software as just an in-house solution to a problem and not a product in itself. They do not need someone that can write in whatever the fashionable language of the day is. They need someone that has the skill and efficiency to maintain a system that was probably written some time ago in a language that fit their needs. A 20 year old that only knows C# is not going to be of any use to them when they need someone that can quickly adapt their in-house solution that was written in C or Fortran to fit new health insurance laws.

Some places higher young programmers because they are cheaper.... but some places purposely higher older, experience people. Consider all options, not just tech companies in Silicone Valley.

Comment Re:Donald Knuth (Score 1) 197 197

Discrete Math: Yes. I do not think I actually took a course labeled 'discrete math', but I know many of my CS classes used it.

Algebra & Calculus: It depends on what you plan on doing. Some careers related to CS may require it. However, most software development positions for businesses only require basic algebra when writing code.

Technical writing: No. In my experience, you just use common sense. You write for your intended audience and include information that is relevant. Upper management does not want to know what algorithms you use to complete something. Documentation created for other developers to maintain your code in the future does not need fluff or information that only applies to the initial implementation of the project (eg: budget and deadlines).

Other courses: Not necessary to CS. They are intended to give you a more well-rounded education and make you pay for more credit hours. Unless your career is closely related to one of these fields, they will be useless. If you were actually trying to get a B.S. degree, then take them. If you are just trying to learn the CS realted things you would get from the degree, don't bother with things like psych and business. They are of no use to most people.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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