[Beowulf] Re: A start in Parallel Programming?

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Wed Mar 14 13:42:32 PDT 2007

 >  "Robert G. Brown" <rgb at phy.duke.edu> wrote
> >
> >
> >I'm kind of glad the folks who teach CS this way don't teach foreign
> >language too - they'd make the students learn a fair amount of Latin
> >before letting them enroll in a Spanish class!  Sure Spanish is based
> >on Latin, but "Ubi latrina est?" isn't the fastest way to find a
> >bathroom in Madrid.  Well, maybe if you ask in a church.

It all depends on why you are learning the language. To get around in Spain
as a tourist, learn Spanish. To study medieval history, you might want
Latin, Spanish, and Portugues, and maybe Arabic, to cover all the sources
leading up to the wars in Iberia in the time of Queen Isabella, say. I'd
guess the Romance Languages department thinks you want to Appreciate
Literature, but probably they know alot of kids in French I just want to go
there on their Junior Year Abroad.

If you need to write a program, pick an appropriate language and use it; if
you need to understand programming, I recommend exposure to more than one.
Note that some computer scientists do not program at all, as some physicists
don't look through telescopes and some mathematicians can't do arithmetic.

What General Physics I teaches about wiring would not be adequate to work as
an electrician in home construction, but it's adequate to do the bench
experiments that illustrate the concepts. There are many purposes under the

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