On Tue, 15 Feb 2005 01:14:02 +0900, Ruth A. Kramer <rhkramer / fast.net> wrote:
> Alexander Kellett wrote:
> > how can a variable confuse? its just a name. anyone who's done basic
> > algebra gets it straight away surely?
> Probably, but a = a + 1 was confusing for me when I first started
> programming (30+ years ago) (solving for a gives a = 1/2 ;-)
> 
> Of course, I learned algebra a long time ago also, maybe today the
> computing paradigm (incrementing a) is more common to incoming algebra
> students and a teacher has to explain the algebraic paradigm?
> 
> I'm seriously wondering--feedback from anybody that's learned algebra
> more recently than I?

It's been quite a while for me since I learned algebra as well, but
I'm helping someone learn algebraic equation solving now, and I can
say with certainty that it would be confusing if variables in
programming are equated with algebraic equation solving.

However, if the only thing that is made clear is that a variable is a
"name", just like in algebra, then it's not nearly as big a problem.

-austin
-- 
Austin Ziegler * halostatue / gmail.com
               * Alternate: austin / halostatue.ca