Search All of the Math Forum:
Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by
Drexel University or The Math Forum.



Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Posted:
Nov 12, 2013 2:50 PM


In article <d6ydnaKnDM2PNBzPnZ2dnUVZ_tqdnZ2d@megapath.net>, Hetware <hattons@speakyeasy.net> wrote:
> .... > 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? ....
It's a good question. I'll just mention two past experiences.
At a Faculty meeting years ago (even before computers were widespread), a student representative had argued strongly that we needn't memorize much because everything can be looked up. The response of a venerable professor of history was "There is no substitute for a wellstocked mind."
I once received a phone call from another academic (in sociology IIRC). She had a calculator in front of her, and asked something like "How can I express 288 as a percentage of 417?" What she needed from me was the word "divide". She was a Ph.D., but clearly had very little intuitive grasp of elementary arithmetic.
Ken Pledger.



