LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games 
Author Message
 LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games


Olga,

I have been looking at the computer as an instrument of representation,
cf. pen and paper. A table is essentially a paper-based representation.
Indeed, the notion of an ASCII table is suspect - the tabular form is
merely a visual (physical) convenience. The question I ask is whether,
within the computer medium, the list is not the preferable mental model.

Micheal O Duill

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Tue, 07 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games

Quote:
> Date:          Fri, 20 Jun 97 05:01 BST-1

> Subject:       Re: LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games




> Olga,

> I have been looking at the computer as an instrument of representation,
> cf. pen and paper. A table is essentially a paper-based representation.
> Indeed, the notion of an ASCII table is suspect - the tabular form is
> merely a visual (physical) convenience. The question I ask is whether,
> within the computer medium, the list is not the preferable mental model.

> Micheal O Duill

Micheal,

I hate to remind you of the fact that English isn't my mother
language. I prefer to speak here  language of codes. Otherwise,
I'm afraid there would be a lot of misunderstanding.
But, nevertheless I'll try.
I don't think the table is essentially paper based presentation. Yes,
such abstractions as n-dimension arrays (n>3) are hard for students
to understand and "feel". But vectors and matrixes aren't as
difficult. I haven't worked much with arrays in Logo yet, but it was
quite simple for me to teach these things in Pascal. Speaking about
matrixes I asked the students to imagine a concert hall, where every
sit is defined by two numbers. I don't think I had to pay
their attention to such things as how the array is presented in
memory.   And on the level of understanding programming there was no
serious problems.
And  when the students  are working with databases or spreadsheets
they are dealing with the tables, not with the lists...

I'm not sure, all this makes any sense, sorry :-)

Olga.

.
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Tue, 07 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games


Thanks for the reminder about English Olga - we English/Irish are very bad
at languages! Your English, on the other hand, is excellent - my Russian
does not exist!

My interest is in the new mental models we will need as we come to use the
computer as our normal (regular) representation medium. This means looking
very critically at legacy representation systems - those transfered from
pen and paper media.

You point out that it is easy to work in two dimensions with an array. We
can even imagine a three dimensional array. However, as you say, our three
dimensional minds cannot conceive n-dimensional arrays.

We can, however, think of multiple characteristics. When I look at my
garden I can list the flowers in it. When I look at my neighbour's garden
I can list the flowers in hers'. I can do the same for the whole of my
street. When I have my list of lists I can then ask of it whether the same
flowers grow in different gardens, etc.

This mental model of lists of lists copes well with data for which, using
paper, we found arrays convenient. The great thing about lists of lists is
that they are not constrained to be symetrical. Lists of lists are a far
more general concept, of which the array is a special case.

The great thing about the computer is that it enables us to deal with
complex patterns of data that we had difficulty handling using pen and
paper techniques.

I hope this makes sense and that my English is not too dense.

Micheal O Duill

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Thu, 09 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games

Quote:

>This mental model of lists of lists copes well with data for which, using
>paper, we found arrays convenient. The great thing about lists of lists is
>that they are not constrained to be symetrical. Lists of lists are a far
>more general concept, of which the array is a special case.

I agree with this about the lists of kinds of flowers, but there are
also situations in which the multi-dimensional array really is the
right model: those situations in which there is no natural ordering
of the dimensions.  In the flower example, the dimension of flowers
in each garden is clearly subordinate to the dimension of different
gardens.  But let's say we're writing a global weather prediction
program (a real world example).  This is done by dividing the earth's
surface into rectangles by latitude and longitude, and computing the
weather in each rectangle a minute from now by looking at the weather
now in that rectangle and its immediate neighbors.  There is no reason
to prefer latitude over longitude or vice versa.  With lists of lists
it's easy to find the neighbors in one dimension but harder to find
them in the other dimension.

Both models have their place, I think.



Thu, 09 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games

Mike et al

Don't stop... the density is about right now. 8-)

What of your thoughts/research on these new models? You have alluded to
them in your previous cryptic posts, but that went past me.

Cheers... Rex

Quote:
> My interest is in the new mental models we will need as we come to use the
> computer as our normal (regular) representation medium. This means looking
> very critically at legacy representation systems - those transfered from
> pen and paper media.
----8<-----
> I hope this makes sense and that my English is not too dense.

---------------------------------------------------------------





Fri, 10 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games

Quote:

> Date - 18 Jun 1997 17:00:25 GMT


> Subject - Re: LOGO-L> Shuffling words & Word Games
> Usenet: comp.lang.logo


> >Let'shuffle not a word, but ASCII table and then let's code every
> >character of the word according to a new table.

> I like your example, but here are a few quibbles about your implementation:
> [...]

Brian,

I'm admiring your "lectures", you know, but I appreciate also your
wonderful manner to begin with "I like your proposal" and then, as we
say here, not to leave a stone on a stone of this proposal. :-)

And, again, all I can tell - thanks a lot.

All the best,
Olga.
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Sun, 12 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 6 post ] 

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