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The article is a single anecdote from the wrong side of the college continuum. After helping my daughter all year with geometry, it is not surprising to me that he couldn't do the math. Those kinds of tests ask questions like "Can you prove these triangles are congruent" and you have to remember all the SAS, SSA, ASA, etc theorems and postulates to have a chance. You will forget those after 20 years, no matter how much you excelled in high school, if you aren't using them (or derivative concepts in higher math) regularly.



Proving theorem's is often taught very poorly. If you haven't already I highly recommend you read Lockhart's Lament:

http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_03_08.html


I haven't finished reading it yet, but so far it's been pretty eye-opening. It reminds me of how I once took a photoshop course in order to improve my design skills... pretty easy to guess how well that worked.


Perhaps I'm the exception, but in Grade 10 I didn't take math (long story) and had never seen most of the math concepts but still was the go-to math helper. High school math is fairly trivial- easy enough to figure out with just some intuition and general thinking skills.


There's a huge leap from being able to figure it out with a book and all the equations inside of it as opposed to taking a test with only questions, no reference material, and presumably a time limit.


No, I never used a book or any equations. People would give me questions with no context, and I would take a second to think through it and then help them. Things like solving systems of equations are easy - you just need to truly understand algebra. Similarly, high school geometry doesn't get far past the axioms themselves.

As a disclaimer to all of this, I was the type that had fun proving stuff in seventh grade and had already read through Spivak's Calculus by Grade 10.


As a disclaimer to all of this, I was the type that had fun proving stuff in seventh grade and had already read through Spivak's Calculus by Grade 10.

This makes your earlier claim of never having seen most of the concepts rather dubious.




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