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Why is math so difficult to learn?

**Quote:**

I think it was the massive supply of slave labour we can thank for them pyramids.

Before the Pyramids could be built the foundation had to be surveyed and laid out. Then the estimate of the blocks had to be made and provisions and transportation between the site and the quarries had to be planned. This included provision of food for the workers. As a management exercise, the construction of the great pyramids rival the modern day Apollo program or the building of the Panama Canal. And it was all done with pen and papyrus. No computers.

Before brawn comes brains.

ruveyn

I was good at calculus when it came to tutorials and homework, but I never showed my work. I've taken introductory calculus twice already and had to drop it when testing started.

Next time I'm using Khan Academy extensively before I go back for that credit (I need it for a designation)- AND getting a tutor.

That is why there are so few first rate creative mathematicians.

ruveyn

Perhaps that explains why all these companies overstated their balance sheets and plunged the economy into recessions.

That is not math. That is criminal fraud.

ruveyn

In America, at least, Math is hard to learn because it's so poorly taught.

- We grossly under-estimate the abilities of children to understand certain concepts, and grossly over-estimate their abilities to learn others.

- We rarely have specialized math teachers until HS. Grade school teachers don't always have a math background. Some don't feel it's as important as other subjects.

- We tend to trust that books and materials sold to the schools, or at retail, are effective. Most of them are not.

- We tend to assume that, unlike everything else, math is best learned through rote memorization and practice. It isn't.

- We are paced by standardized tests, and we are required to pass students with mediocre scores. Those who fall behind early have little chance to catch up.

Bottom line... Math is hard to learn because our education system sucks.

**Quote:**

- We tend to assume that, unlike everything else, math is best learned through rote memorization and practice. It isn't.

a.) I don't know what it's like in the US, but in Asia mathematics is the beloved idol of academe. Mathematicians have the biggest bragging rights at every level of education. Poor Arts students...

b.) I don't quite know whether to disagree with your second statement.

- On one hand:

*only*impressing memorization is bad for understanding deeper concepts. But practice is the way to go man. Practice, practice, practice.

- On the other hand, every once in a while there will be some identity the proof of which requires a phD - e.g. full understanding of Girsanov's theorem, the Kolmogorov forward and backward equations... better to just memorize the damn thing.

MagicMeerkat

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Joined: 11 Jun 2011

Age: 33

Gender: Female

Posts: 2,647

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In my case it was repetive brainwashing telling me how "hard" it was or telling me I could never be a vet becuase I was so "bad" at math. Wonderful way to modivate a kid too. I lost any previous intrest I had in school and my grades went from bad to worse. I've always found algebra easier than basic arethimitic. Maybe that's becuase I took Temple Grandin's advice and took geomotry first. The only reason I even bothered to attempt to learn algebra is because I wanted to be a vet so bad. I'm 25 and still in high school becuase I had a nervous breakdown at sixteen. There were several factors that contributed to it and I just needed a break from school. I only need a few more credits to get my deploma and am considering trying to take the GED. Wanting to be a vet is the only reason I am even trying. Everytime someone tells me I should try something "easier" and be a vet tech, I want to strangle them. NO ONE is supportive and everyone tells me to be a tech instead and asks me why I'm so opposed to it. Because I don't want to be a vet tech. I want to be a full fledged DVM. A little support would be nice, but no one gets everything they want. But anyway, in my case it was being brainwashed.

_________________

Every time you spell "meerkat" with a C, a baby meerkat cries. Please think of the meerkats.

Sadly, we manage to neglect both.

- On one hand:

*only*impressing memorization is bad for understanding deeper concepts. But practice is the way to go man. Practice, practice, practice.

I would suggest quality over quantity, though. Meaningful practice builds meaning. Mindless practice is a waste of minds.

I was mainly referring to elementary concepts, such as multiplication and division. Difference is, we may never need to apply Girsanov's theorum outside of the context in which it was taught. But basic concepts in math, we certainly will. That's when memorization will no longer suffice.

Last edited by scubasteve on 17 Jan 2012, 8:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

Yeah, that's a terrible way to motivate a kid. But maybe a good way to motivate an adult... Prove them wrong.

a.) I don't know what it's like in the US, but in Asia mathematics is the beloved idol of academe. Mathematicians have the biggest bragging rights at every level of education. Poor Arts students...

How do the mathematicians score with the girls as compared with the jocks?

ruveyn

Well that depends. MATH is important. Now Algebra on the other hand...where are you going to use that in life? Algebra is a crazy made up thing that was used to appear smarter than you really are. I highly doubt anyone actually understands Algebra unless they're insane or really really high.

_________________

Empathy Quotient Test Score: 63

Hmmm...interesting. Shows what you know about Aspies, doesn't it rofl?

"One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small but the pills that mother gives you don't do anything at all"

I tested in the 98th percentil in 6th grade. On the first day of 7th grade my algebra teacher asked how we were all doing. I said "bored", when what I meant was we hand't gotten to any actual work, we were just doing administrative crap for the first day of class. She said, "Do you want to come up here and teach this class?" She became uninterested in helping me, and I never caught back up. All over a poor choice of words.

Everyone uses algebra. Often, we don't even realize we're doing it.

I notice your screen name is "TheAspieMusician". Did you know that there's a lot of algebra in music?

Example: You're playing a song in 3/4 time. (3 quarter notes per measure.) How many 16th notes could you play in one measure?

That's an algebra problem:

**3 / 4 = x / 16**

The goal is to get the 'x' by itself, on one side of the equals sign.

Right now, 'x' is being divided by 16. We can get rid of this by doing the

*opposite*to both sides.

*(Remember: You can add, subtract, multiply or divide any number at any time - As long as you do the same thing to both sides.)*

The opposite of division is multiplication. So let's

*multiply*both sides by 16...

**16 * 3 / 4 = 16 * x / 16**

On the right side, we're dividing and multiplying by the same number. When that happens, they cancel each other out:

**16 * 3 / 4 = x**

Now that the 'x' is all alone on one side, there's no more algebra. Just

**multiply 16 * 3**, and then

**divide the result by 4.**

The answer is

**12**. Keep in mind, you'll need more complex algebra for music with compound meters and subdivisions...

If you're having a hard time understanding algebra, don't worry: Most people do.

It is very important, though. Be sure to ask your parents or teachers for help if you need it.

Algebra 2 was damn difficult, especially for a freshman in highschool, everyone else was 17. I was like 14? and i forget mostly everything from it.

Except stuff like 6xy + 18x^2 - 36x^2y^3 **equals **1 + 3x + 6xy^2

And i dont even know if that's right, somebody inform me. I made the polynomial up myself lol.

Except stuff like 6xy + 18x^2 - 36x^2y^3

**equals**1 + 3x + 6xy^2

And i dont even know if that's right, somebody inform me. I made the polynomial up myself lol.

That is not right.

ruveyn

Except stuff like 6xy + 18x^2 - 36x^2y^3

**equals**1 + 3x + 6xy^2

And i dont even know if that's right, somebody inform me. I made the polynomial up myself lol.

That is not right.

ruveyn

I assume you're trying to factor out 6xy? Don't forget that what you factor out is still part of the equation...

6xy + 18

**y**x^2 - 36x^2y^3 =

**(6xy)**(1 + 3x

**-**6xy^2)

It is generally a good idea to work backwards and multiply it out, to make sure what's on the right side of the equation equals what's on the left.

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