Tweet: Math Learning That Assumes Computers Exist

Conrad Wolfram’s critique of math curriculum include the following:

  • Math instruction has become too fixated on computation (eg solving for x, for example) and removed from real-world applications and data.
  • Its necessary to have a math curriculum that assumes computers exist, and that they can calculate things for you.
  • According to Wolfram (Edsurge interview)
    “You don’t necessarily need to learn every step needed to solve a quadratic equation. You probably need to know what a quadratic equation is. You need to know how to set up the equation. You need to know how to verify the results, make sure that somehow you didn’t fooled. But most crucially, you need to know when you’re going to set up an equation, and why—which very few people coming out of school actually know.”
  • Wolfram’s Computer-based math project aims to redefine the subject based on computers doing the calculating The idea is to be able to use technology as you would in real life and solve much harder problems.
 

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