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Topic: A statement on what is wrong with standard calculus
Replies: 15   Last Post: Sep 21, 2004 11:26 AM

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Joan Reinthaler

Posts: 110
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: A statement on what is wrong with standard calculus
Posted: Sep 21, 2004 11:26 AM
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My concern with the growing chorus of people who say that they believe
that a solid basis of algebra is not necessary for what comes next is
that the people who are saying this already have a solid understanding
of algebra. They can't put themselves in the shoes of someone trying to
make sense of calculus without the algebra intuition that these believers
themselves had as a prerequisite. Sure derive/mathematica/etc. will perform
the algebraic manipulaltions we all struggled to learn how to do - will do
them quicker and more accurately than any of us can do them - and so forth,
but until you've been there and done that yourself, the computer is like one
big black box - that does mysterious and marvelous things. I think the
use of technology ought to make people more powerful than they already
are - not paper over weaknesses.

Joan Reinthaler
Sidwell Friends School

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