Hackman’s philosophy at Linköping University

Just as a side dish, without talking to the source (Mr. Peter Hackman) itself, I have chosen to translate a few laws, principles, lemma, theorem, lemmas, or what have you, what ever lingua mathematicians use.

Mr. Peter Hackman was with the Mathematics department at Linköping University – from the origins (yes, we’re not that old) – more or less – until his retirement in 2006. He was famous for the books in various types of algebra, for example the “Book with the cow on”. I had the pleasure to have Mr. Hackman in two courses, Linear Algebra and Linear Algebra, second course. One could argue what use I have had of that knowledge in my current life as an electronics engineer, but nevertheless, the maths is quite fun and nice to work with. In-between, the rotation of the parrot was, and this needs confirmation, done by a fellow Ölänning of mine.

Anyhow, Mr. Hackman, had quite a set of different opinions and on his home page he has published a few ideas on “pedagoja”, a combination of the words pedagogics and “goja”, where the latter implies talking jibberisch. (The latter could also refer to parrot in slang-Swedish.) So, the laws, lemmas, theorem, what have you, are the following (and I am taking them from the source directly and try to translate to the best of my knowledge):

  1. “Hackmans Enkelhetsprincip”, “Krångla inte till saker i onödan”.
    Hackman’s principle of simplicity. Don’t make things too complicated if you do not have to.
  2. “Hackmans Nyttoprincip”. “Gör inte en massa dumheter i onödan”
    Hackman’s principle of utility. Don’t do a lot of silly things if you do not have to.
  3. “Hackmans Kausalitetsprincip”. “Det är så för det blir så”.
    Hackman’s principle of causality. It is that way, since it is that way. or [edit, kiitos Janne] That is a fact because the result will be so.
  4. “Hackmans Osäkerhetsprincip”. “Goda föreläsningar drivs av osäkerheten om deras slutliga innehåll”.
    Hackman’s principle of uncertainty. Good lectures are driven by the uncertainty about their final contents.
  5. “Hackmans Paradox”. “Läroböcker ska vara kompletta, föreläsaren ska komplettera dem.”
    Hackman’s paradox. Course literature should be complete. The lecturer should complement them.
  6. “Hackmans genusprincip”. “Även kvinnor tjänar på att behandlas som individer”.
    Hackman’s principle of gender. Women too benefit from being treated as individuals.
  7. “Hackmans omvända kvadratlag”. “Professorers intellektuella briljans avtar med kvadraten på avståndet till den egna specialiteten”.
    Hackman’s inverse square law. [Edit, thanks Mikael]. The intellectual brilliance of professors is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from their own field of expertise.

All of these would apply to most fields of education and research. And I must say I support most of them. I guess it is worth with a follow-up post on this…

And once again, the disclaimer here is that this is work by Mr. Hackman, the quotes are from his public homepage, and I just replicate them with a translation into English. And I know that some of it is lost in translation and I might need some assistance to finalize them…


4 thoughts on “Hackman’s philosophy at Linköping University

  1. The message from #3 should be something like “That is a fact because the result will be so.”, but it’s not easy to translate.

  2. I would translate #7 as: The intellectual brilliance of Professors is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from their own field of expertise.

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