Abstract / Synopsis

How you think about a phenomenon certainly influences how you create a program to model it. The main point of this essay is that the influence goes both ways: creating programs influences how you think. The programs we are talking about are not just the ones we write for a computer. Programs can be implemented on a computer or with physical devices or in your mind. The implementation can bring your ideas to life. Often, though, the implementation and the ideas develop in tandem, each acting as a mirror on the other. We describe an example of how programming and mathematics come together to inform and shape our interpretation of a classical result in mathematics: Euclid's algorithm that finds the greatest common divisor of two integers.



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