There’s so much maths to learn…or is that so little?

RobJLow Pebbles

Originally posted by Rob J. Low:

Observation has led me to the conclusion that there are two very different kinds of mathematics student.

  1. One kind thinks one of the disadvantages of mathematics is that there is so much to learn.
  2. The other thinks one of the advantages of mathematics is that there is so little to learn.

The strange thing is that both are correct: where they differ is they way that they approach the process of learning the mathematics.

The student of the first kind is the one who simply tries to learn everything by heart, whether it is a brute fact, a concept, or a standard proof. It has to be memorized exactly, in the way one learns a poem in a language one doesn’t speak.

The student of the other kind has different strategies for remembering different types of information.

I see it as part of my job to…

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