Re: human/world interfaces

Date: Thu Jul 06 2000 - 18:00:59 MDT

In a message dated 7/6/00 4:41:35 PM, writes:

>Me too. Calculus, differential equations, and partial differential
>equations were all easy enough to understand conceptually, but they just
>didn't "stick". I took almost all of these courses twice as well.
>Subjects like algebra and trigonometry were so obvious to me it was like
>I was born with the knowledge; the solutions were always very intuitive.

A mathematician friend of mine in college claimed this kind of
experience is very common. Talented mathematicians feel like it's
"already in their brain" until they get to some idiosyncratic
point where it isn't and all of a sudden they have to work to
get it.

I have lost most of my mathematical skills with age. When I was a
teenager, everything I ever did was easy, up to real analysis and
approximation theory. Now everything beyond high school is hard
(except calculus) and I can't work without reference texts. Right
now I'm working on a (relatively simple) PDE problem and it's very
frustrating. I can remember having the intuition for the
manipulations but I don't have it anymore and have to do pages
of slow, plodding work with a differential equation book at

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