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Topic: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.

Replies: 20   Last Post: Nov 18, 2013 2:11 PM

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William Elliot

Posts: 1,243
Registered: 1/8/12
Re: What math should I learn?
Posted: Nov 12, 2013 12:14 AM
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On Mon, 11 Nov 2013, Hetware wrote:

> I'm working through a 1953 edition of Thomas's _Calculus And Analytic
> Geometry_. When I work problems, I use Mathematica to type my transformations,
> and to check my results. I use it for far more, as well; graphing, numerical
> solutions, etc.
>
> Many years ago I found computers to be a nuisance when it came to math, and
> more importantly physics. I was contented to have a piece of chalk or a
> pencil and an eraser, than to have all the computing power in (the) Universe.
> Time was the only resource I found in short supply.
>
> Now that I have used them for years, I realize that computers can do a whole
> lot. They can find integrals for equations which I cannot integrate by hand.
> They can produce graphics which a human could never produce, etc.
>
> I've used a pocket calculator since the 1970's. But, I feel as if I should
> have learned to work the same problems on my own. I feel somewhat crippled by
> using it as a crutch.
>
> I'm in a conundrum twixt the use of computers to do my thinking for me, and
> learning to think for myself. Should a child learn his times tables, or learn
> to use a computer to do it for him?


Computers don't think, they calculate. Use computers for calculations.
To understand mathematics, don't use a computer; use a text book.
If you don't understand mathematics, then you can't be thinking but
only guessing. That's what I've seen students do, to use a calculator
as a guessing machine, checking their guesses until they get an answer
they guess is correct.



Date Subject Author
11/11/13
Read What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Hetware
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn?
William Elliot
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn?
Matthew Lybanon
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
jimp@specsol.spam.sux.com
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Lord Androcles
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Hetware
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Lord Androcles
11/17/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Hetware
11/17/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Lord Androcles
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Herman Rubin
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
fom
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Doc O'Leary
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Sam Wormley
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Ken.Pledger@vuw.ac.nz
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all?
Mathematica, etc.
Brian Q. Hutchings
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
JohnF
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all?
Mathematica, etc.
Timsn274
11/12/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all?
Mathematica, etc.
Rock Brentwood
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Peter Percival
11/13/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
fom
11/18/13
Read Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica,
etc.
Peter Percival

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