Why don’t mathematicians write great code?
In the discussion surrounding a series of recent articles on the question of how mathematics relates to programming (one of my favorite navel-gazing topics), the following question was raised multiple times
If mathematics is so closely related to programming, why don’t professional (research) mathematicians produce great code?
The answer is quite a simple one: they have no incentive to.
It’s pretty ridiculous to claim that a mathematician, someone who typically lives and breathes abstractions, could not learn to write well-organized and thoughtful programs. To give a simple example, I once showed my advisor a little bit about the HTML/CSS logical flow/style separation paradigm for webpages, and he found it extremely natural and elegant. And the next thing he said was along the lines of, “Of course, I would have no time to really learn and practice this...
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