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Topic: Re: Another reply to Lou Talman (fwd)
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Posts: 10,730
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Another reply to Lou Talman (fwd)
Posted: Jun 9, 1997 8:14 PM
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In a message dated 97-06-09 09:32:06 EDT, Martha Schwartz wrote

<< Algebra (let alone calculus!) is one of the great and useful inventions of
the human mind and is worthy of some protection. If I take calculus, and all
I get from it is cracker-jack algebra skills, I haven't wasted my time. But
please convince me, that if all I learn is to let a calculator make graphs
for me, that I've gotten anything even half as good as algebra?

Sentence 1: I agree

Sentence 2: Yes you have.

Sentence 3: If all you do is use the calculator to get your answers for you
then I agree "that [you've not gotten anything even half as good as
algebra." But if you do that, you are not using your calculator correctly (or
shall I say to its fullest potential). You should have gotten hundreds of
graphs and been able to investigate all sorts of things resulting from the
changes in the parameters. You should have been using the calculator to
compare the graph with the numerical features, and both with the equations.
(Yep, thats the reform approach.) The calculator should be used not as a tool
for getting the "answer" but as a tool for learning the mathematics.

Lin McMullin
Ballston Spa, NY

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