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Topic: [ap-calculus] Re: Math as Puzzle (Problem) Solving
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Jerry Uhl

Posts: 1,267
Registered: 12/3/04
[ap-calculus] Re: Math as Puzzle (Problem) Solving
Posted: May 15, 2000 3:34 PM
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At 8:16 AM -0400 5/15/00, Mikalac Norman S NSSC wrote this and more:
>i'd like more discussion of this response. if math (including Calculus)
>isn't used for problem (puzzle) solving, like other branches of logic, then
>what ARE the reasons for using it? art form? philosophy? "because it's
>we engineers and scientists consider math JUST A TOOL to solve problems.
>true, in any math course one has to learn to progress to higher math (diff
>eqs, LaGrangian Dynamics, Networks, etc.) to solve more esoteric problems,
>but they all boil down to problem (puzzle) solving.

-----Not really. There is the puzzle solving aspect of math, but
there is also the gut level understanding of calculus ideas that take
root in the mind and provide the base for moving onward and upward.
Without this gut level understanding, engineers and scientists might
well chose the wrong math tool.

Jerry Uhl
Professor of Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Member, Mathematical Sciences Education Board of National Research
Calculus&Mathematica, Vector Calculus&Mathematica,
DiffEq&Mathematica, Matrices,Geometry&Mathematica, NetMath ,, and

"Is it life, I ask, is it even prudence,
To bore thyself and bore the students?"

. . . Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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