Thursday, March 11, 2010

Its time for a new intro programming course!

I'm reviewing a new text, "Mathematics for the Digital Age and Programming in Python" by Maria and Gary Litvin, and it looks great! Surf on over to and have a look. 

I've been running an intro or preAP Computer Science course based on some sort of BASIC since 1975 (qBASIC/yaBASIC, VB/REALbasic, TI-83BASIC/TI-89BASIC)! So its time for a change. I think I will propose a new 2-year curriculum: 
Computer Math (Fall Semester) = Python & TI-83BASIC 
Advanced Computer Math (Spring Semester) = C++ & TI-89BASIC 
AP CompSci (2nd year) = Java & Octave

I am very interested in this new python based text. I am thinking of using it for our intro programming course. As this is a math credit class, doing some discrete math would be a great bonus! 

BTW, I use SAGE/Octave/R with my AP Calculus, AP Physics and AP CompSci students. SAGE is based on python, so using this book with would be very easy. However, this online notebook approach obviates input/output files. If I were to install SAGE on my Linux boxes in my PC classroom, I could use python on its own or within SAGE with input/output files. 

Teaching with Technology, 

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