Monday, October 18, 2010

Math: Learning to Read

Every discipline has its own way of presenting ideas to the world. In science, for example, the ideas are presented in a form that is so well known it can be parodied. (I can still crack certain people up just by saying "chicken chicken chicken").

Math has it's own format and structure for presenting ideas. Knowing that there is a structure and an approach is one thing. Being able to make sense of it and work your way through math is another. Luckily Shai Simonson and Fernando Gouvea have written a primer to help that's simple titled How to Read Mathematics. Not only does the authors offer advice but they walk you through understanding a few simple math problems to see how you one understands math writing with practical examples. It's well worth the time and effort to wrap your mind around.

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