Our present wealth of technology owes much to the full-court press of WWII, when experts in theoretical and applied science (much seperated at the time) were deliberately thrown (forced?) together. I wonder if some geekly academic frustration comes of theory and practice dividing and camping up again.
Low point in my mathematical career:
Student (not me): "Is this stuff good for anything?"
On one side are fundamental theorems, principless, secrets of the universe.
On the other are applications, changes in the world.
Between is grinding swamp of tools. Ideally math would enlighten students with principle and carry through weilding the tools toward empowering implications. Too often math courses camp in the tool-swamp, letting go of principle and not taking hold of application. Maybe this is a vestige of the days when they trained people to be computers. (occupational title)
The student feels like he's being neither enlghtened nor empowered; he's just being a tool.
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