Date: Jun 21, 2013 2:01 AM
Author: Wayne Bishop
Subject: Re: Math Wars Philosophizing in the NY Times

At 08:18 AM 6/20/2013, Joe Niederberger wrote:

>I never hated math, but was bored in algebra. I had a 10th grade
>geometry teacher (we studied logic and Euclidean geometry
>exclusively.) He wasn't even a mathemetician per se, but a young law
>student. I think his youth had something to do with it, because it
>was his passion for logic that woke me up out of boredom more than
>anything. He also reminded me a bit of my cousin (a Phd. physicist
>at the time) -- also a big influence on me at the time.

Interestingly, I had a very similar experience. I was horribly bored
(and neither fast nor accurate) with arithmetic except for good
"cookbook" word problems that I was good at and liked, especially
once I had algebra, but it was proof-based Euclidean geometry that
turned me onto mathematics and is part of reason that I so
vociferously condemn its death in US schools in our lifetime after
millennia of being the standardbearer of real mathematics; the most
important contribution of the ancient Greeks to modern human
thought. The teacher wasn't great but he guided us well and the
material spoke for itself. Yet we come down diametrically opposed on
this issue. Weird.