University Professor Reflects on Why Learning Math Takes Time

TONY’S MATH: Marveling over a math textbook he once used as an undergraduate, Tony Mann, university math professor in London, and proprietor of Tony’s Maths Blog wonders exactly why does it take so long to learn mathematics. The short answer is because it should -- or more aptly that learning takes longer for mathematics than other disciplines -- if you’re hoping to achieve mastery. One line that stood out: “I would have been a much more effective mathematician if I had read more superficially, skipping proofs until I understood the context.” Not that we’re taking sides in the debate over online pedagogy (methodical vs. intuitive) and MOOC effectiveness, but sounds like Mann just scored a point for Team Intuition.

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