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What struck me immediately was the deep design in the language. You could not only find out the particular computation that you were trying to perform, try to figure out how to do it, but you could see that there was structure there, that there was design in the naming of the functions, there was design in the positioning of the arguments, there was design how those functions were linked together. I’m a learning advisor at Edith Cowan University, which is one of four major universities in Western Australia. Our role there is to provide support across the faculty in mathematical areas, in statistics, and numeracy and, in fact, literacy as well. I’ve used Mathematica for a fair while now and it’s very important for me in this role of learning advisor because you’re forced to be a bit of a generalist. You might get students from psychology wanting to understand a statistical study or a report. You might get students from nursing wanting to improve their numeracy to do drug calculations. You might get students from engineering wanting to solve differential equations. The other use I have with Mathematica and especially the recent releases of the Wolfram Language is to apply it in the field of learning analytics. One of the dangers I see in the field is that this we’re getting this super brain, this single algorithm, that is directing students down a particular path. I think one of the names of the projects that we throw around was… we want to ensure that one knows thyself and not thy hive mind. So we don’t want to get to the point where there’s a homogenization of learning, that every student follows a particular pathway. So one way of addressing that is having students interact with that data. The three main aspects of the Wolfram Language that I find particularly useful is the pedagogy— the sense that you can essentially implement any algorithm that you are interested in implementing and the fact that it’s always improving. That’s part of the pedagogy—the learning curve is not so steep. The second aspect I find particularly useful and important is its sheer scope. As a learning advisor, I need to be across multiple domains and having the opportunity to do that in a computation environment is very important. And the third reason is the learning analytics that has emerged in the last couple of years and which we’ve become interested in at my university. If you do decide to become involved in the Wolfram Language, you can rest assured that you will still be reaping the benefits a decade hence.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 37 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 4
Posted by: wolfram on Apr 15, 2015


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