02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 Don't Let the Simulation's Beauty Convince You It's Real

The architecture faculty who designed Project Athena’s Garden dreamed of transparent understanding of design process; today scientists are reconciled to opacity and seeing only a CAVE’s shadows. Over the past twenty years, simulation has introduced its dazzling environments and we have been witness to our own seduction. A mechanical engineer instructs his students: “Don’t be fooled by the graphics.”17 Luft says that beautiful codes promote the “illusion of doing really great scien...
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
  1  notes
 
02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 Loss of Legacy Programmers Means Loss of Systems Understa...

At Livermore, a legendary senior weapons designer is about to retire. At the Spring 2005 MIT workshop, his colleagues discuss this retirement and refer to it as “a blow.” They are anxious about more than the loss of one man’s ability to make individual scientific contributions. He has irreplaceable knowledge about the programming that supports current practice.10 His colleagues fret: “He has such a great memory that he hasn’t written down lots of important stuff. How will people kno...
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
  1  notes

The newer users only know the interface, the abstraction, they don't know the code beneath it.

02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 Where's Transparency With So Many Layers of Abstraction?

Some older scientists, for example, justify their use of opaque software by pointing to the infinite regress of computer representations. After all, they argue, it doesn’t really mean much to know how your simulation is programmed if all you are looking at is a high- level computer language. The “real guts” of the program is in assembly language and in all that lies beneath that, and no one wants to go to that level with today’s complex machines. In the 1980s, Professor Barry Nilo= in...
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
  1  notes
 
02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 The Danger of Black-Box Abstraction

When I was a graduate student, if you were going to convert some data or something like that, you would write the FORTRAN code to convert the data yourself. That’s how you would do it. Now there are these programs. There are these windows and you click. I .nd with my students all the time, they don’t know why something isn’t working. I’m like, well, did the data convert properly? Open the .le and look at it. It is so black box and it is going from the time when you knew how the data w...
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
  1  notes
 
02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 Top-Down VS Bottom-Up Approaches to Design in Software

One of the hallmarks of the Athena project was that faculty were asked to build their own educational software. Most worked with a set of assumptions about learning: students begin by learning “fundamental concepts”; formal, mathematical representation is always the best approach; students would use simulations the way designers intended. As Athena unfolded, none of these assumptions proved true. To begin with, students approached simulation with a wide range of personal intellectual styl...
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
  1  notes
 
02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 Students Reliant on Computer Simulations Lack the Technic...

In the 1980s, alternate visions of computers and the future of design were expressed in competing views about programming. Some architects believed that designers needed to learn advanced programming. If designers did not understand how their tools were constructed, they would not only be dependent on computer experts but less likely to challenge screen realities. Other architects disagreed. They argued that, in the future, creativity would not depend on understanding one’s tools but on usi...
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
Folksonomies: abstraction simulation
  1  notes
 
15 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 The problem with testing for abstraction

...students learn by doing. Testing for abstraction on an exam can’t be the only way we’re evaluating student learning. If I had taken an exam on leadership in World of Warcraft, I would have likely failed, because the way I was engaged was through the practice of performing the leadership, not by talking or quizzing on it. Thought leader within the game-based learning movement, James Paul Gee, refers to this type of learning as “Situated and Embodied Learning,” where the learning is ...
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Teambuilding & Leadership Embedded in Play Conor O'Malley

13 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 Humans Are Abstraction Masters

What distinguishes us from cavemen is the level of abstraction we can reach. Abstraction enabled humans to move from barter to money, and from gold coins to plastic cards. These days, what's left of "money" is often just an account record we read on a computer screen, and soon it could just be a line of code in a bitcoin ledger. Today, abstraction is all around us — and math is the language of abstraction. In the words of the great mathematician Henri Poincare, mathematics is valuable beca...
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The level of abstraction we can master distinguishes us from other life.

01 JAN 2010 by ideonexus

 Symbols: Shorthand For Ideas

Your 3-year-old has declared that he and the closet are going to Asia. Asia, like America, is a concept that depends on our ability to think symbolically. America exists only because a group of people got together more than 200 years ago and decided that this great mass of land directly to the south of Canada should bear that name. California wasn't America, and then it was. It became America because a group of people decided
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This is something important to consider in developing artificial intelligence, how symbolic thought works. When we consider "China", the word evokes an understanding of an abstract concept: a geographic location, an ethnicity of people, language, fashion, culture, population, etc. All the details of what "China" is are really abstracted away, we accept an immense amount of ambiguity in our understanding of the concept.