Math memorization concern

  • #1
137
0
If you have a math or science based degree or something similar, what if you are in a situation where you for whatever reason, do not use any of the skills you've learned for a period of time, would you then want to go back and relearn the skills or would you personally just never forget anything that you had previously learned ?
(Assuming that previously you learned these subjects in the sense that you understand it not just memorized it.)
How do you feel about any period of time of not using any previously learned skills in various subjects, as being something to be concerned about?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
I'm assuming you're probably referring to forgetting some of the material you've covered in previous classes?

It happens to everyone. I personally don't really remember all my infinite series and integral techniques from cal 2, or all my E&M. But I'm sure it would take me just a few minutes of looking over my notes to remember it all.

The point of school isn't to be able to memorize and recite all the properties and definitions, it's to be able to think for yourself. How you approach/tackle a problem is worth much more than memorizing. As long as you have good strategies, techniques, and smarts to solve the problems, then don't worry about forgetting material.

My cal 1 professor told me that, when he was doing his bachelors, he failed the oral part of a math exam. In his country, they were required to have a one-on-one with the teacher, where the teacher would ask him about theorems and definitions. He told me he failed that part because he could never remember the names. On the theory exams he normally got top grades, because he could take on any problem. I guess the fact that he's a professor now agrees with my above statement :smile:
 
  • #3
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I've forgotten a lot of the more obscure topics from freshman-level math and physics, and have on occasion needed to know them again. In my experience, the most important thing to retain in these instances is that vague memory that "there was something that involved X and Y and allowed me to find Z, and I think it was called something along those lines." That's usually all you need: the knowledge that a solution or concept exists, and enough information to Google it. If you learned it reasonably well the first time around, picking it up the second time probably won't take much effort at all.
 
  • #4
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I'm not out of school yet, but so far everything I've forgotten can quickly be relearned or found with Google/a book. Some math tricks aren't necessary to solve the problem as long as you know why you're doing them.
 

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