full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Let me show you that you can also make problems harder to calculate. See, normally in school, you do things like solve quadratic equations. But you see, when you're using a computer, you can just substitute. You can make it a quartic equation. Make it kind of hedarr, calculating-wise. Same principles applied — cluiatolcans, harder. And problems in the real world look ntuty and horrible like this. They've got hair all over them. They're not just siplme, dumbed-down things that we see in school math. And think of the outside world. Do we really believe that engineering and biology and all of these other things that have so benefited from cumpotres and mtahs have somehow conceptually gotten recuedd by using computers? I don't think so — quite the opposite. So the problem we've really got in math education is not that computers might dumb it down, but that we have dumbed-down problems right now. Well, another issue people bring up is somehow that hand calculating procedures teach understanding. So if you go through lots of examples, you can get the answer, you can understand how the basics of the system work better. I think there is one thing that I think very valid here, which is that I think uidatnnenrsdg procedures and processes is important. But there's a fantastic way to do that in the moerdn world. It's called programming.

Open Cloze

Let me show you that you can also make problems harder to calculate. See, normally in school, you do things like solve quadratic equations. But you see, when you're using a computer, you can just substitute. You can make it a quartic equation. Make it kind of ______, calculating-wise. Same principles applied — ____________, harder. And problems in the real world look _____ and horrible like this. They've got hair all over them. They're not just ______, dumbed-down things that we see in school math. And think of the outside world. Do we really believe that engineering and biology and all of these other things that have so benefited from _________ and _____ have somehow conceptually gotten _______ by using computers? I don't think so — quite the opposite. So the problem we've really got in math education is not that computers might dumb it down, but that we have dumbed-down problems right now. Well, another issue people bring up is somehow that hand calculating procedures teach understanding. So if you go through lots of examples, you can get the answer, you can understand how the basics of the system work better. I think there is one thing that I think very valid here, which is that I think _____________ procedures and processes is important. But there's a fantastic way to do that in the ______ world. It's called programming.

Solution

  1. harder
  2. calculations
  3. understanding
  4. nutty
  5. maths
  6. modern
  7. simple
  8. computers
  9. reduced

Original Text

Let me show you that you can also make problems harder to calculate. See, normally in school, you do things like solve quadratic equations. But you see, when you're using a computer, you can just substitute. You can make it a quartic equation. Make it kind of harder, calculating-wise. Same principles applied — calculations, harder. And problems in the real world look nutty and horrible like this. They've got hair all over them. They're not just simple, dumbed-down things that we see in school math. And think of the outside world. Do we really believe that engineering and biology and all of these other things that have so benefited from computers and maths have somehow conceptually gotten reduced by using computers? I don't think so — quite the opposite. So the problem we've really got in math education is not that computers might dumb it down, but that we have dumbed-down problems right now. Well, another issue people bring up is somehow that hand calculating procedures teach understanding. So if you go through lots of examples, you can get the answer, you can understand how the basics of the system work better. I think there is one thing that I think very valid here, which is that I think understanding procedures and processes is important. But there's a fantastic way to do that in the modern world. It's called programming.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
real world 5
teaching people 5
math education 3
modern world 2
ancient greek 2
minute suggesting 2
hand calculating 2
people bring 2
school math 2
large number 2

Important Words

  1. answer
  2. applied
  3. basics
  4. benefited
  5. biology
  6. bring
  7. calculate
  8. calculating
  9. calculations
  10. called
  11. computer
  12. computers
  13. conceptually
  14. dumb
  15. education
  16. engineering
  17. equation
  18. equations
  19. examples
  20. fantastic
  21. hair
  22. hand
  23. harder
  24. horrible
  25. important
  26. issue
  27. kind
  28. lots
  29. math
  30. maths
  31. modern
  32. nutty
  33. people
  34. principles
  35. problem
  36. problems
  37. procedures
  38. processes
  39. programming
  40. quadratic
  41. quartic
  42. real
  43. reduced
  44. school
  45. show
  46. simple
  47. solve
  48. substitute
  49. system
  50. teach
  51. understand
  52. understanding
  53. valid
  54. work
  55. world