Weekend Reading; Daniel Larison: Scowcroft, the GOP, and the Nuclear Deal

Must-Read: Chad Orzel: Planning To Study Science In College? Here's Some Advice: "I’ll outsource a bit of this to... Rhett Allain...

...who explained why your intro physics class should include computer programming.... I wholeheartedly agree with Rhett--computer simulations need to be a part of the intro science courses.... When we start doing programming, I tell students that this matters because there are only about a dozen problems in physics that you can readily solve exactly with pencil and paper.... And that goes double, maybe triple for engineering, where you can’t get away with the simplifying spherical-cow approximations.... Any really interesting problem in any technical field is going to require some numerical simulation, and the sooner you learn to do that, the better. The best way to handle this is to have it integrated into your intro courses in your chosen major field--the best way to learn to code is to have a problem you need a computer to solve...

Rhett Allain: You Should Be Coding in Your Physics Course: "Let’s talk about the numerical calculations...

...breaking a complicated problem into many smaller (and easier) problems. Since this makes many problems to solve, the simplest strategy is to use some type of computer.... I think it’s an important topic to cover in introductory classes. What are some of the reasons faculty don’t include numerical calculations?... ‘Numerical calculations are too complicated and require too much setup to be used in an intro course.’ I admit that this used to be true—but no longer. In the past, it was a huge pain in the rear to get into some type of computing environment for non-programmers.... But it’s not 1995 any more. Numerical calculations aren’t out of reach of beginning students. They aren’t even out of reach for physics faculty.... Python and VPython.... GlowScript.... Trinket.... There are certainly many other tools...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chadorzel/2015/08/17/planning-to-study-science-in-college-heres-some-advice/

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