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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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JohnF

Posts: 154
Registered: 5/27/08
Re: What math should I learn if computers can do it all? Mathematica, etc.
Posted: Nov 13, 2013 12:06 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Ken Pledger <ken.pledger@vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
> 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
> well-stocked 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.


Actually, it's not such a good question, but should be better phrased
as, "To what extent should a child learn his times tables?"
You still need to learn enough examples until you "get the idea".
Some kids may need more examples, some less. It's an individual thing.
But with tiny $2 calculators everywhere, you don't need to learn times
tables to the same extent as when everyday arithmetic was done by hand.
There's only finite time, and your kid's time would be better spent
learning other, more abstract, math stuff (like percentages:) once he
understands the times table idea, and has worked enough examples to
make it intuitive to him.
--
John Forkosh ( mailto: j@f.com where j=john and f=forkosh )


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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