[Beowulf] Re: Matlab and Octave

Gus Correa gus at ldeo.columbia.edu
Mon Dec 29 14:46:12 PST 2008

Greg Lindahl wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 03:38:15PM -0500, Gus Correa wrote:
>> I don't have any statistics or data, but I guess this is the picture  
>> across the country.
> Most people need 2 data points before they generalize to the entire
> country. Many useless threads on this mailing list come from debating
> generalizations from 1 or 2 data points. I suggest that we not do
> that.
> -- greg
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Hi Greg, Beowulfers

One sentence out of context is also only one data point
to generalize from, right?
If anything, blame me, don't blame most, please. :)

Our student sample here is quite varied,
and on average confirms what I said.
There are exceptions, as always.
I agree this doesn't make proper statistical evidence, but it is an 
Other people's comments on this thread suggested the same too:
prototyping tools (Matlab, Mathematica, etc)
seem to be preferentially used by (and taught to)
science and engineering students and young professionals, not Fortran or C,
not the seasoned Unix/Linux programming environment and tools.
Regardless of whether one thinks this trend is good or bad,
progressive or not.

It would be interesting to see the statistics of the "Computers 101" 
course syllabuses
for non-CS majors across the country, what has been the emphasis on 
those courses,
if anybody on this list knows an article or something about it.
I would rather be proven wrong than right.
I don't want to dwell on this, though.

Thank you.

Gus Correa

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory - Columbia University

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