[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: following up on speed

>>>>> "Daniel" == Daniel Weinreb <DLWeinreb@attbi.com> writes:

Daniel> At MIT, we were taught to think about semantics and abstraction much
Daniel> more than we were taught
Daniel> to think about performance. There is a real danger in taking this
Daniel> approach too far.

Daniel> Those of you on this list who regularly initiate
Daniel> undergraduates into the mysteries of Scheme: do you teach them
Daniel> performance analysis? In the first semester?

Not in the first semester.  IMHO, performance analysis, to be
meaningful at all, requires a basic understanding of the execution and
machine model, which usually happens later in the intro sequence of

The real reason for not doing it that early, however, is that
beginning students have a tendency to take new techniques too far:

For example, when we teach them about tail recursion, they have this
unexplainable urge to never use non-tail recursion ever again, and it
takes them a while to get back to earth again.  (Does anyone have a
psychological explanation for this?)  The same holds for performance

Cheers =8-} Mike
Friede, Völkerverständigung und überhaupt blabla