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View Diary: Science and math teaching: have you tried R? (38 comments)

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  •  R is all about graphics. (2+ / 0-)
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    quill, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

    The Matlab-lookalike free products such as Octave follow the matrix/vector typographical style of Matlab, and learning R for a Matlab user requires unlearning habits and learning some additional conventions (coming from a recovering Matlab addict).  R can match Matlab & Octave in most numerical calculation abilities, once a comfort level with a new syntax is acquired.

    What R brings in addition is fantastic graphical capabilities.  R is a complete stand alone scientific graphing product.  The graphs in Matlab (and their gnu implementations in Octave) have limited flexibility by comparison.

    Check out some of the graphical possibilities on display at the R enthusiasts website.

    •  I will check it out (0+ / 0-)

      I have been using matcode for years for scientific computing, figure generation, and prototyping. R is near the top of my list for a weekend learning project.

      In my comment I was trying to look at things from a k-12 teaching/learning perspective. In your opinion, which language would be best for a simple lesson for 6th graders? Say, fractions, prime numbers, and rudimentary algebra? Which would be easier to learn, have a nice easy to use IDE, etc?

      "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

      by quill on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:56:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For 6th graders, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill

        I would think more along the lines of bar graphs of the counts of M&M colors in little bags of M&Ms!  A script is provided at the end of the diary.   Tell the students that there is no eating of the M&Ms until the graphs are produced!

        •  lol! (0+ / 0-)

          Seriously, my partner teaches 6th grade math and you'd be surprised at what they can pick up. But you're right: I think some kids would be OK but others probably would be limited to a much simpler graphical teaching languages, if that.

          "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

          by quill on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:08:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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