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Topic: Memorize or not?
Replies: 1   Last Post: Feb 6, 1998 4:26 PM

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Jerry Uhl

Posts: 1,267
Registered: 12/3/04
Memorize or not?
Posted: Feb 6, 1998 4:06 AM
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Dick Askey mentioned to me that in our Calculus&Mathematica book, we tell
the students to know the geometric series cold. And he asked how I could
be against rote memorization after saying this to our students.
Here is my response:

Do we expect them to memorize the geometric series?
Answer: Not really.

Do we expect them to know the geometric series?
Answer: Yes

How do we expect them to know this series?
Answer: By working with it a lot. By using it to sum other related series.
By applying it.
This is the way research mathematicians get to know what they need to know.
They don't memorize the way I memorized Latin in 1955. The learn by doing
and using.

-Jerry Uhl






----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jerry Uhl juhl@ncsa.uiuc.edu
Professor of Mathematics 1409 West Green Street
University of Illinois Urbana,Illinois 61801
Calculus&Mathematica Development Team

http://www-cm.math.uiuc.edu
http://www-cm.math.uiuc.edu/dep









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