Stop Teaching Calculating, Start Learning Maths!

The British Wolfram company is the maker of the Math Computer Tool “Methematica” used for university students to prove theorems besides computing. It is written in Lisp functional language.

Conrad Wolfram provoked the new idea of Computer-Based Math education:

Teach the ‘Why’ of Maths, leave the ‘How’ to the computer.

‘How’: solve quadratic equation, simultaneous equations, differentiation, integration….

He mentioned Singapore is interested in this new approach of teaching Math ? The O & A Level students can now use scientific calculator in Exams.

Conrad Wolfram comes from the British angle, telling us the English Math is too computational, or Applied. It is like a fast-food chef without knowing much about the food science, the temperature and the art of color 色, taste 香, smell 味. The French Math is, au contraire, theoretical, like the ‘haute cuisine’ chef, more “Why” than “How”, slowly cook and taste the finest quality of food (dégustation 品尝).

Having taken GCE A-level Math and French Classe Prepas Math, I experienced the strengths and weaknesses of both Maths. Giving an Integration question to an English educated student, he would immediately plunge into all sorts of techniques (by substitution, by parts…) and get the answer; give it to a French student, he would first study the ‘domain of definition’ of the function, continuity at which intervals, … before attempting to integrate if it is “integritable” — meaningful to integrate or has any solution — in the first place !!

A best Math education is the combination of both English and French. The computer can be used to calculate faster in the (English) Applied Math, to verify / prove the (French ) Theoretical Math.

It is like the 少林巭 Shaolin Kungfu (English Applied Math ) versus 武当太极 Wudang Taiji (French Pure Math). You can have both !

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