[thechat] maths /programming

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Tue Jul 2 09:52:00 CDT 2002

Hi Dean,

I was a theoretical math guy.  I guess that's "pure math" - Topology and stuff like that.  The only numbers we dealt with were at the bottom of the pages.   ;-)

Fortunately, I was a year ahead in the program so I was only a junior when the seniors suddenly realized they were about to graduate and had their "Fsck! I better acquire a marketable skill - Fast!" awakenings.  They loaded up on programming classes - not because they liked it - but in order to get real jobs.  Some were good at it - some weren't.

I noticed their panic but decided not to follow the lemmas [1], {too mundane for me - I gotta be 'different'  ;-)  }, so  instead I took a bunch of operations research courses and ended up getting a job designing custom statistical studies ... and had to write my own applied custom analysis software for each project. <D'Oh! />

(Yeah - I think it's true - we 'pure math' guys usually do look down our noses at applied stuff. But hey! Don't I get extra credit? I actually _did_ bring beer and pizza in to my Fortran final!)

[1] Yes - I know it's 'lemmings' - but they were pure math folks, so 'lemmas' is more appropriate.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dean Mah [mailto:dmah at members.evolt.org]

I've known a couple math graduates that were into pure math.  They
despised application.  It only took a sinlge computer course for them
to realize that they weren't good programmers and hated the subject.
Too much application for them.

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