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A Mathematician's Lament — an Indictment of US Math Education 677

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the beating-the-joy-out-of-education dept.
Scott Aaronson recently had "A Mathematician's Lament" [PDF], Paul Lockhardt's indictment of K-12 math education in the US, pointed out to him and takes some time to examine the finer points. "Lockhardt says pretty much everything I've wanted to say about this subject since the age of twelve, and does so with the thunderous rage of an Old Testament prophet. If you like math, and more so if you think you don't like math, I implore you to read his essay with every atom of my being. Which is not to say I don't have a few quibbles [...] In the end, Lockhardt's lament is subversive, angry, and radical ... but if you know anything about math and anything about K-12 'education' (at least in the United States), I defy you to read and find a single sentence that isn't permeated, suffused, soaked, and encrusted with truth."

+ - Stick to LaTeX 2

Submitted by javierzinho
javierzinho (666) writes "For many years I have been using LaTeX to compose scientific documents, but sincerely I'm getting tired of its complexity: it is necessary to install new packages for new features, compatibility issues are everywhere, you need to know commands for everything, table composition is a torture, image insertion an odyssey if you don't have the "right" format, and you need to be a LaTeX's jedi master to create a new document class. I'm looking for a document processor (NOT a word processor) as a viable replacement for LaTeX having all its advantages (consistency between text and math text, automated cross references, direct pdf creation, etc.) but not stuck with the compiler concept and weird 1980's font technology that uses LaTeX, I mean an application with visual interface and so on. I've tried Scientific Word and Lyx but both are front-ends for LaTeX, and Publicon only produces pdf files by ... exporting to LaTeX an subsequently using pdflatex. Add-ons for MS-Word are a joke, and webEq is intended for web publishing, not for pdf production. It seems no company has the guts to produce a decent scientific-structured document processor, am I wrong?, does anybody knows about a viable replacement for LaTeX in the form of a modern application?"

The end of labor is to gain leisure.