I remember I first heard of Seymour Papert when I picked up a copy of
his book “Mindstorms” at the University library. This was based around
the radical idea that young children could not only learn advanced
concepts about mathematics and programming, but they could have fun
For example, to draw a circle, you repeat the following some x number
* turn a little bit to one side
* move a little bit forward
(The larger the “x”, and the correspondingly smaller the “little bit”
becomes, the better the approximation to a circle.)
This comes straight out of a child’s intuitive idea of how they would
walk in a circle (i.e. turtle graphics). But it is also a
differential-geometric formulation of a circle!
And today I discovered that Papert had suffered a serious traffic
injury in Hanoi a decade ago. No word on whether he ever recovered, and
now he has passed away, with no mention of the cause.
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