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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Science, math, & engineering

A fellow Dorchesterite, calling himself Trxckster — yes, the third letter is indeed an x, not an i — quotes visionary Alan Kay in his blog:
Today, science (a concern with what is real) is mixed with mathematics (a concern with what is true) is mixed with engineering (a concern with how something can be made). Each worker in each of these fields also partly works in the other two. Each field has a different temperament associated with it: mathematicians tend to be idealists, scientists realists, and engineers pragmatists.
For those who like graphic organizers — and this is certainly an appropriate context for one — we can put the above into a nice table:

 What is it?Temperament
Sciencea concern with what is realrealists
Mathematicsa concern with what is trueidealists
Engineeringa concern with how something can be madepragmatists

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