Parsons Dorkshop: Math for Code


Today’s “dorkshop,” or weekend workshop review at Parsons Bootcamp, focused on math formulas for code. The students coded on a program called Processing, an open source programming language that quickly helps generate visuals from understanding concepts of coding.  

Processing is a unique language. For example, PVector is defined as a vector that includes two values of x & y. Students not only learned the application of math formulas but, more importantly to get in the habit of Processing’s terminology.  So, how did students apply math formulas to programing languages like Processing? For example, understanding basic trigonometry like Pythagoras’ Theorem helped students convert from polar coordinates to cartesian coordinates. As an instructor, I quickly realized the difficulty in teaching students to simultaneously become familiar with Processing terminology and applying math. 

One of my students for Bootcamp at Parsons had mentioned Scratch as foundation for understanding Processing. Has computing always been a “younger’s game” as mentioned in the Economist. If so, can students anticipate or even create programming languages that are simpler to understand than Processing?