Theory and practice

Donald Knuth explains how he combines theory and practice:

This has always been the main credo of my professional life. I have always tried to develop theories that shed light on the practical things I do, and I’ve always tried to do a variety of practical things so that I have a better chance of discovering rich and interesting theories. It seems to me that my chosen field, computer science — information processing — is a field where theory and practice come together more than in any other discipline, because of the nature of computing machines. …

History teaches us that the greatest mathematicians of past centuries combined theory and practice in their own careers. …

The best theory is inspired by practice. The best practice is inspired by theory.

Taken from Selected Papers on Computer Science.

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3 thoughts on “Theory and practice

  1. Fully agree. In the end it’s all about learning.

    There are models of learning, like Kolb’s Circle, that try to address ways the things, that are usually called theory and practice, are interrelated.


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