Archive for the ‘Languages’ Category

Experimentation in Art & non-deterministic grammars

December 31, 2011

One of my favourite abstract painters is Richard Diebenkorn. Click here to see an Art Blog which has a post on his most famous Ocean Park Series. Click here for a link to a blog showing one of the Dibenkorn’s canvases in an NY apartment.

In these sorts of works it is fascinating how you can see a process of experimentation that resulted in the final canvas — tones of colour are covering earlier lines and colours, and the development of the composition is clearly shown as part of its completeness. The brushstrokes and decisions made by the artist are intuitive, and the artist works hard to push paint around until a pleasing result is achieved.

Here comes the maths.

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Some links on Lisp

December 29, 2011

Curious about the programming language Lisp?

Follow these few links to some thought-stimulating commentary and sites.

A useful tip for learning a language

December 11, 2011

When I was teaching English in Rome I took a lot of interest in reading the literature on how we can best learn a language, and how we can best help our students to learn a language. There are lots of different approaches out there but most schools teach an approach which is a mix of grammar, role play, word games and spoken exercises — a modern-day version of the grammar translation approach. (One exception to this is the Berlitz school which uses the direct method). The school I worked at used the grammar translation approach.

One of the most common problems that beginner students faced when learning English was that they would feel like they just didn’t have enough vocabulary available to deal with the role-play exercises. Anyone who has tried learning a language will know the feeling of wanting to say something but just not knowing the translation of the words you need to use.

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