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Maths and coding...

(13 Posts)
cressetmama Sun 20-Dec-15 16:27:49

DS16 has just discovered, after half an hour playing with Python coding language, that it can solve his Maths A level homework. Should I congratulate him on being resourceful, or forbid further use? He does think he might do something coding related at university...

YeOldeTrout Sun 20-Dec-15 17:23:52

I'd give congrats & remind him reasons why he wants to do the math the old fashioned way, too.

noblegiraffe Sun 20-Dec-15 17:28:42

That's great. He should still do his homework by hand, but he can use his program to check his answers. It will also help his understanding of the maths to code it.

FishWithABicycle Sun 20-Dec-15 17:29:05

Lots of congratulations but he still needs to know how to do it the long way around if he is going to be able to learn the even more exciting kinds of coding that await him as he dives deeper.

He'll do well - be proud.

IamactuallytherealJeff Sun 20-Dec-15 17:30:28

What is coding? My 5 year old daughter has told me she loves coding at school on the computer. What is it?

rubyontherocks Sun 20-Dec-15 17:33:57

It's not a bad way to learn the maths! And he'll still end up having to learn the 'proper' way to get through the maths exams.

Fwiw, my job involves a lot of coding maths up, it's a useful skill that not many people can do!

cressetmama Sun 20-Dec-15 18:37:02

He says you will all understand if he says he's doing D1 and it is monotonous!

Stirling84 Sun 20-Dec-15 18:39:11

Coding is how you write computer software.

In primary school it will mean using 'scratch' to make an animated cat dance or create a rudimentary game.

noblegiraffe Sun 20-Dec-15 18:52:25

Oh yes, D1 is monotonous but he needs to practise because he won't have his computer in the exam!

Programming the algorithms is also an excellent coding exercise.

cdtaylornats Sun 20-Dec-15 22:44:44

If he is going to do pretty well any subject at university these days he will come into contact with some form of coding.

If he wants to do Computer Science then he will do a lot of it.

Coding in reality actually makes up about a tenth of producing software. The rest is made up of requirements, design, testing, documentation, delivery and project management.

How did he test his code to make sure it was right?

FanDabbyFloozy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:55:24

Did he show you what he did?

When I was a teen, that would have been impressive because I would have had to code up the whole algorithm. Nowadays, there are libraries for everything which are shortcuts to the answer.

So in short, encourage him to do it the hard way first on paper to check he understands it and then let him double-check it using Python.

Computer Science is an excellent discipline and requires a lot of maths, but is deeply rewarding as a career. So good luck to him!

scissy Thu 24-Dec-15 14:34:39

Coding D1 algorithms from scratch is a good exercise so good on him. But... He does need to practise by hand. The trick to high marks in D1 is being able to manually go through the algorithms by hand, quickly, without making stupid arithmetic mistakes. And annoyingly that only comes with practise. (Learnt that myself the hard way). Still, I still use elements from D1 in my day job over 10 years later which is more than I can say for my other A levels.

roguedad Sun 27-Dec-15 17:28:22

python is excellent. For quick computations you might also try
wolfram alpha.com which can e.g. check calculus homework, or cheap student version of Mathematica.

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