You keep hearing about Mathematical thinking. What is it? How do you develop a Mindset for Math?
Math uses made-up rules to create models and derive relationships. When learning, I ask:
- What relationship does this model represent?
- What real-world items share this relationship?
- Does that relationship make sense to me?
I will add a couple of more:
- How does one develop a mind-set for thinking beyond mere numbers, formulas and low level concepts.
- How can we take these insights that come out of that mindset and apply to real problems
One of the slides I used to have on my “Thinking About Thinking” talks was to ask the audience (mostly CS students) to do a few of the following multiplications, mentally.
19 X 21
25 X 15
Very few actually find the simple algebraic patterns, till you point them out.
That brings us to one more insight (not my own):
- A lot of problems can be solved by looking for patterns and applying some existing knowledge
The more mental models we build, the easier it is to apply them.