Başka zihinler

İki alıntı.

[T]his common and unfortunate fact of the lack of an adequate presentation of basic ideas and motivations of almost any mathematical theory is, probably, due to the binary nature of mathematical perception: either you have no inkling of an idea or, once you have understood it, this very idea appears so embarrassingly obvious that you feel reluctant to say it aloud; moreover, once your mind switches from the state of darkness to the light, all memory of the dark state is erased and it becomes impossible to conceive the existence of another mind for which the idea appears nonobvious.

–Mikhail Gromov (aktaran: Marcel Berger)


Mathematics is amazingly compressible: you may struggle a long time, step by step, to work through some process or idea from several approaches. But once you really understand it and have the mental perspective to see it as a whole, there is often a tremendous mental compression. You can file it away, recall it quickly and completely when you need it, and use it as just one step in some other mental process. The insight that goes with this compression is one of the real joys of mathematics.

After mastering mathematical concepts, even after great effort, it becomes very hard to put oneself back in the frame of mind of someone to whom they are mysterious. I remember as a child, in fifth grade, coming to the amazing (to me) realization that the answer to 134 divided by 29 is 134/29 (and so forth). What a tremendous labor-saving device! To me, ‘134 divided by 29’ meant a certain tedious chore, while 134/29 was an object with no implicit work. I went excitedly to my father to explain my major discovery. He told me that of course this is so, a/b and a divided by b are just synonyms. To him it was just a small variation in notation.

One of my students wrote about visiting an elementary school and being asked to tutor a child in subtracting fractions. He was startled and sobered to see how much is involved in learning this skill for the first time, a skill which had condensed to a triviality in his mind.

Mathematics is full of this kind of thing, on all levels. It never stops.

The hard-earned and powerful tools which are available almost unconsciously to mathematicians, but not to students, make it hard for mathematicians to learn from their students. This puts a psychological barrier in the way of listening fully to students.

William Thurston


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2 Responses to Başka zihinler

  1. ani says:

    like! çok beğendim!

  2. Arkadaş says:

    İlk yorum! :) Pedagoji denilen şey hiç kolay değil işte. (Bunları diyenlerin ikisi de çok ünlü matematikçiler bu arada. )

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