[OT] Education Theory (was Re: Database Design Theory?)
ross at agilestudios.com
Wed Nov 9 14:52:43 MST 2005
On Wed, 9 Nov 2005, Shane Hathaway wrote:
> I've always wondered if I'm odd in the way I learn things, but I've always
> had far more success if I start with practical applications before moving
> into theory.
For me it depends. Some things I (for whatever reason) get really
interested in theory for the sake of theory. For example, CS 252 was
really easy for me because (a) I had just finished reading Godel, Escher,
Bach, (b) I already knew things like regular expressions from my Unix
experience, and (c) I simply loved things like grammars, finite state
automata, turing machines, and so forth--for no reason at all, just
because they fascinate me.
But in other things, I totally agree with you--when I start with the
applications, the theory side of it just seems to fall into place much
> Nearly every time I've taken a theory-heavy class in something I haven't
> learned on my own, I struggled a lot.
Same here. But I don't think it's necessarily (either in my case or in
your case) simply because I tried applying stuff first--I think it was
more because (a) I was already familiar with some of the basic ideas in
the material, and (b) it was something I was already at least somewhat
interested in (as evidenced by the fact that I had already learned
something on my own).
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