TITLE: SECANT This and That AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: October 31, 2008 10:52 AM DESC: ----- BODY:

[A transcript of the SECANT 2008 workshop: Table of Contents]

As always, at this workshop I have heard lots of one-liners and one-off comments that will stick with me after the event ends. This entry is a place for me to think about them by writing, and to share them in case they click with you, too. The buzzword of this year's workshop: infiltration. Frontal curricular assaults often fail, so people here are looking for ways to sneak new ideas into courses and programs. An incremental approach creates problems of its own, but agile software proponents understand its value. College profs like to roll their own, but high-school teachers are great adapters. (And adopters.) Chris Hoffman, while describing his background: "When you reach my age, the question becomes, 'What haven't you done?' Or maybe, 'What have you done well?'" Lenny Pitt: "With Python, we couldn't get very far. Well, we could get as far as we wanted, but students couldn't get very far." Beautiful. Imagine how far students will get with Java or Ada or C++. Rubin Landau: "multidisciplinary != interdisciplinary". Yes! Ideas that transform a space do more than bring several disciplines into the same room. The discipline is new. It's important to keep in mind the relationship between modeling and computing. We can do model without computing. But analytical models aren't feasible for all problems, and increasingly the problems we are interested in fall into this set. Finally let me re-run an old rant by linking to the original episode. People, when you are second or third or sixth, you look really foolish. -----