I have been familiarizing myself with LISP for self improvement purposes. One of the things I have noticed is that LISP is much more within the paradigm of Mathematics than say C. The syntax and design structure seems to echo directly the actual mathematical model of an algorithm. It doesn't make sense to me why even good Mathematics based CS programs study C instead of LISP. I think that LISP more directly employs higher mathematical concepts than C. I am not saying that you can't model mathematical structures in C. I am merely noticing that LISP seems to be hard-wired for mathematicians.
I have read many of Joel Spolsky's rants on the JAVA schools and what not--and I agree with his assesment--, but my school didn't teach JAVA for that very reason. They were stringent in teaching fundamental concepts like pointers, algorithm design, recursion, and even assembly instructions. However, they did this all in C and c++. Does anyone know the reasons for this and/or its history?