Quote by mathwonk
son goku, i also like elementary hands on calculations to begin to understand what a concept means. thats how the subjec=ts began and hoq tgheir discoverers often found them. but after a while one wants to pass to using their proeprties both to understand and to calculTE WITH THEM.

Interesting, it's probably due to my limited experience but most of the mathematician's at my university generally learn things from the definitions first, an ability I always found very impressive.
Although as you said, either way of doing it (learning by calculating first and then moving to definition or viceversa) is just a way of moving on into the interesting stuff.
As mathematician what would you say, in general, seperates the way mathematics is presented in theoretical physics to the way it is presented in maths?