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Haterophobe3 karma

Thank you so much for the response! It's nice to feel a bit of vindication.

Followup question: what do you mean by "dont be afraid to 'kill your darlings'" in reference to programming/engineering?

Haterophobe3 karma

Not OP, and only tangentially related, but related nonetheless.

I've been turning into a TA in my programming course (high school), and I find that my experience writing plays a large part of that. Its a lot easier to explain when you've been writing for over half of your life.

A large part of this is math - everyone in high school is doing something algebraic in math, and so I use a lot of the concepts of geometric proofing and algebraic solving to help explain stuff.

Nested if statements were a big one - going through a pentagon and filling in lengths and angles based on one angle and two measurements (and using that to fill in lines of symmetry) helped me to explain how if blocks work - if the fourth thing is true, then all the ones before it need to be true for the fourth one to be looked at. Same goes for solving around the edges of an irregular pentagon. You can't check the fourth angle until the second and third are known.

Haterophobe3 karma

Hello, Ms. Bishop!

I'm in a very similar circumstance to you right now - I've spent most of my teen life dreaming of writing, but now I want to be a cryptographist/infosec specialist.

My question for you: do you feel as if you approach what you do differently from your peers?

I'm taking a programming course in my high school right now, and oftentimes my solutions to assignments are vastly different from others in the class (who seem to have a much lower tolerance for varying approaches to similar but unique assignments). For example, we're currently making a program that determines end behavior of a polynomial - in approximately 200 lines of code, I check for degree (regardless of format - location of degree term doesnt matter), sign of the degree term, and error-check user input (of the polynomial). Many other students in the class are struggling to find the sign of the polynomial's degree term if the function is not written in standard form, and I think my writing background (and probably massive interest) are helping me a lot. There's not a lot of writers-turned-programmers that I know, so I'd be interested to hear what you think. :)

Haterophobe3 karma

(Not OP)


For high schoolers, proofs and derivative explanations can work well. People who are interested but unskilled/generally bad at math can often improve a lot when they see the basic proof of an equation.

Finite series solution equation: (1st term)((1-((rationumber of terms )/(1-ratio))

however, you can also multiply the first and last term and then multiply by half of the number of terms. I cant explain the proof, but having the proof explained to me made something click and all the sequence-series stuff that was daunting became much easier to understand with that fundamental explanation of the formula. I wish the same had been done for the quadratic formula.

Haterophobe1 karma

Once again, thank you very much for the response. :)

I don't have any more questions, but I eagerly await a response on the "Proof by Numbers" topic.

Thanks, also, for being an awesome AmA host!