A different idea of what a “tool for thought” can be! This videos shows Sam’s work on Emmy , a computer algebra system ported from Sussman’s scmutils , embedded in our literate programming/moldable development environment, Clerk :
This is an impressive achievement in several areas, plus their integration (working against tons of accidental complexity). I just wonder how many people are able to appreciate it.
What I see personally as the most important achievement is to turn scmutils into readable literate documents. It's probably the first computer algebra system that invites its users to explore its inner workings.
It looks like this stack will be used for research and teaching by several groups at [unnamed elite American technical university] this fall, so it will reach at least a few people.
We’re also working on seamless transfer of projects between Clerk and Maria to allow a collaborative web-based interface to these documents. Sam’s dream is a kind of real-time collaborative student wiki to mob-program and (more importantly) mob-understand scientific material.
Sam just told me about the teaching plans. Sounds very good! As does a collaborative interface. This is the kind of advanced material that motivated students could well figure out for themselves in a group setting. Perhaps better than with a teacher, given the small intersection (and thus paucity of teachers) between competences in advanced mechanics and Clojure programming.
Now I just have to install a Clojure environment on my laptop to play with this during train rides...