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Fri Apr 9 20:03:34 EDT 2010

Sussman about crappy notation

In the video[1] Arnold's book[3] is mentioned two times (and that he's
a SOB).  Sussman doesn't like the ambiguous notation.  

  Arnold[3] p246: (not breaking with tradition and explaining what the
  Langrange equations mean) and p258: ``It is necessary to use the
  apparatus of partial derivatives, in which even the notation is
  ambiguous.''

Sussman uses the notation based on Spivak's Calculus on Manifolds[5]
which handles it properly: partial differentials expressed in terms of
position of parameter instead of names that can have different
meanings (parameters or functions).  See p.44 at the end of the
chapter about differentiation[6].

His point: programming forces one to be precise and formal without
being excessively rigorous.


[1] http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2726904509434151616&hl=en#
[2] http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicm/
[3] isbn://0387968903
[4] http://www.docin.com/p-708956.html
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculus_on_Manifolds_(book)
[6] http://books.google.com/books?id=POIJJJcCyUkC&pg=PA44#v=onepage&q&f=false




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