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Topic: [math-learn] Transforming formulas
Replies: 55   Last Post: Feb 19, 2007 11:48 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Moti Posts: 63 Registered: 11/7/06
[math-learn] Re: Transforming formulas
Posted: Feb 5, 2007 9:32 AM
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Don't worry, no offense taken :-)

Indeed, it's a very good question! Thinking back to my training in
mathematics and physics, to how I think about it, and to how I see
people think about it, I believe it is something we "know" without
having a specific definition - even if people would bring some
dictionaries out and write definitions.

We could say "amount of material" [mass?] or use the basic "quanta"
element, and so on and so forth. But those would only be "ad hoc" type
of definition to me. I used quotes for ad hoc because they are not
really ad hoc but I think our notion of the word is inherent in our
physical senses and nature. Maybe quantity is a basic building block
in our understanding of the world around us?

Food for thought I hope - what's the quantity of food and what's the
quantity of thought required to digest that food I do not know though ;-)

--- In math-learn@yahoogroups.com, "Ralph A. Raimi" <rarm@...> wrote:
>
> On Sun, 4 Feb 2007, elkashish wrote:
>

> > I don't assume such knowledge either. If I were to use the word
> > quantity I would make sure they know what it means :-)

>
> Quite so; but my message didn't intend to accuse you of anything
> at all, for you were clearly quoting a hypothetical teacher and not
> (necessarily) yourself. I had hoped *someone* would be able to explain
> 'quantity' to me; indeed, my message was explicitly addressed to
> "math-learn" and not to "elkashish". I have been puzzled by the word
> "quantity" a long time, going back to a graduate-level course I once

took
> called "tensor analysis", in which on Day 1 the professor began with a
> definition of "tensor" as a matrix (n-dimensional array, actually) of
> "quantities" that did this or that very complicated thing. I never

got a
> definition of "quantity" from him, though later, a couple of years
later,
> I did come to understand what he (or the sage he was quoting from)
> probably meant.
>
> As a teacher, if I were asked such a question and didn't have a
> precise answer, I would rephrase my statement in such a way as to use

were not
> possible I might give enough examples (and use them) to convey the idea
> even if not given in full and correct abstraction. But rushing past a
> word that students don't understand is bad policy.
>
> Again, I'm sorry to have given "elkhasish" the idea that I was
> demanding an answer from *him*. (though in fact I thought, or

hoped, he
> might have one)
>

> > Again, the point of this conversation was not to show how it should be
> > taught but rather to illustrate a point in a bit more interesting way
> > than we usually would ;-)

>
> Yes, I recognized that my question was a bit beside the point.
>
> Ralph A. Raimi Tel. 585 275 4429 or (home) 585 244 9368
> Dept. of Mathematics, Univ.of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627
> <http://www.math.rochester.edu/people/faculty/rarm>
>

Date Subject Author
1/28/07 Antonija Horvatek
1/28/07 John Morse
1/28/07 Zeev Wurman
1/28/07 Ed Wall
1/28/07 Richard Sisley
1/29/07 Rex Boggs
1/29/07 Rex Boggs
1/29/07 John Morse
1/29/07 Chris
1/29/07 John Morse
1/29/07 Antonija Horvatek
1/29/07 John Clement
1/30/07 Paul A. Tanner III
1/30/07 Joshua Zucker
1/31/07 Paul A. Tanner III
1/31/07 Moti
1/31/07 Paul A. Tanner III
1/31/07 timotha@comcast.net
2/1/07 Moti
2/1/07 Antonija Horvatek
2/1/07 John Clement
2/2/07 timotha@comcast.net
2/2/07 John Clement
2/2/07 timotha@comcast.net
2/2/07 Moti
2/2/07 Paul A. Tanner III
2/3/07 Moti
2/3/07 John Clement
2/5/07 Moti
2/5/07 Ed Wall
2/8/07 John Morse
2/4/07 Paul A. Tanner III
2/5/07 Moti Levi
2/4/07 Antonija Horvatek
2/2/07 Ralph A. Raimi
2/3/07 Moti
2/3/07 Ralph A. Raimi
2/4/07 Moti
2/4/07 Ralph A. Raimi
2/5/07 Alva
2/5/07 Moti Levi
2/5/07 John Clement
2/5/07 Ed Wall
2/5/07 John Clement
2/5/07 Ed Wall
2/5/07 Moti
1/30/07 John Clement
1/31/07 Antonija Horvatek
1/31/07 Paul A. Tanner III
2/1/07 Moti
2/1/07 Antonija Horvatek
2/1/07 Antonija Horvatek
1/29/07 Paul A. Tanner III
1/30/07 Jerome Epstein
2/19/07 Jon Wilson
1/30/07 Jerome Epstein