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FBI and NYPD Officers Sent On Museum Field Trip 70

In an attempt to "refresh their sense of inquiry" FBI agents, and NYPD officers are being sent to a course at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Art of Perception hopes to improve an officers' ability to accurately describe what they see during an investigation by studying art. From the article: "Amy Herman, the course leader, said: 'We're getting them off the streets and out of the precincts, and it refreshes their sense of inquiry. They're thinking, "Oh, how am I doing my job," and it forces them to think about how they communicate, and how they see the world around them.' Ms Herman, an art historian, originally developed the course for medical students, but successfully pitched it as a training course to the New York Police Academy."

Comment Open src compute algebra systems, was: Marketing (Score 1) 480

Sales of the book don't matter to Wolfam -- Mathematica is MUCH more lucrative. The book is just an advert for his software.

Believe it or not there are open source computer algebra systems! Two that I'm familiar with are Maxima and PARI-GP (sorry, don't have a link at the moment). Maxima is general purpose, while PARI-GP is mostly about number theory.

Maxima's history is interesting. It is based on the source code (Lisp!) of the Macsyma system developed at MIT circa 1970-1980. Mathematica is essentially a rewrite of Macsyma with very slightly different syntax. You know what they say about imitation.

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