I’m finally beginning to appreciate the and Information part of my Computer and Information Science degree.
I’m working through an online course on the R language https://www.coursera.org/course/rprog
I’m finding it quite arcane, retro, baroque. Just a few examples:
length(x)=5, assigning to a function to to set the length of an object? really ?
- “1” based array index (FORTRAN, anyone?)
- complete textual orientation (OK, not a problem for an emacs user)
- Having to think about the size of objects being read in (echos of the days before virtual memory)
data <- data.frame(x=c(1,2,3), y=c(1,2,3), count=c(10,10,5)) library(lattice) levelplot(count ~ x*y, data=data)
Figure 1: Simple heatmap generated by R
We no longer live in the world of McGuffy’s readers (OK, not since my Grandfather’s day), “New Math” (my day), or even in the days of roll-your-own curriculum that was blooming when we started homeschooling ~15 years ago. What does it mean when world-class education is essentially free to all?