M. Uhle sen. uhle at mt.mb.uni-dortmund.de
Sat Aug 18 16:13:41 CEST 2007

Am Samstag, 18. August 2007 12:56 schrieben Sie:

> M. Uhle sen. wrote:
> > Some years ago I switched to:
> > A simple editor, a plain compiler, and a textbased console and AN
> > Say: simulate an automobile on a 10 km long road with traffic lights.
> > Answer the question: does it make sense to ignore speed limits or does it
> > not?
> >
> > So jump, dive, and swim..
Adriaan van Os answered:

> At least this creates an intellectual challenge to students, but the wrong
> one. In fact, you are saying "I am teaching a boring discipline
> (science/craftmanship/art) so I am trying to make it interesting by finding
> an interesting application (Anwendung)".
> I find that horrible. 
> Only those students that find programming *itself* 
> interesting, will later be good programmers and we really don't need to
> bother with the rest (they had better start a career in politics or
> marketing or so).

Sorry, maybe I did not make it clear enough:

I do have the same opinion: If somebody does not develop a deep interest, 
she/he never will be a good programmer, but:

My students are studying mechanical engineering. Programming is just one 
subject for them. But the regulations say they must do it. 
Trying different methods,  by the time I found, that they achieve much better 
results (read: put more effort into it) when they are confronted with 
interesting challenges. 
By the way, there are other jobs as well: program a lift for a four storage 
building (model on the desk), measure the speed of a rotating disk using 
korrelation on two signals from optical sensors and the like.
As soon as something is "moving" they like it.

> Again, the task of teachers is to lead pupils into this
> wondeful new world, i.c. programming and exact thinking, and bring young
> people to spiritual maturity, rather than trying to "amuse" them with an
> interesting application. 

I cannot see that I should not look for an interesting application. 
Programming - in my opinion - is not just intelluctual fun, what it is, but 
it longs for applications. So why not find an interesting one?

> And - if you do not strongly believe *yourself* 
> that programming as a discipline (science/craftmanship/art) can be
> interesting, you will never be able to bring your students to real
> enthousiams for what you are teaching.

> Sincerely,
> Adriaan van Os

Sorry, again a remark: Only very few of those who study mech. eng. will 
develop this enthusiasm (which I claim for myself) but it helps if they see 
that it can result in more than a few coloured pictures on a screen!

Mathias Uhle

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mathias Uhle,  Messtechnik,  Universitaet 
Leonhard Euler Str. 5,       D-44221 Dortmund
Tel: +49.231.755.3257      Fax: +49.231.755.2631
email: uhle at mt.mb.uni-dortmund.de   

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