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Where are students expected to learn all the little algebra tricks that can turn unsolvable looking diff EQ's, integrals, laplace and inverse laplace problems into cakewalks? Things like adding 5+(-5) to the numerator or multiplying by just the right x/x to nudge a nasty looking equation into something of the right form.

Every time I encounter a problem that requires a trick like this, I usually spend hours researching on the internet or in other math books trying to figure it out, assuming that I'm making a mistake somewhere rather then just missing a trick. When I finally do figure it out, I feel like such an idiot because I didn't pick up that little trick along the way in my math classes.

I'm Just curious, I've never considered the time I spent looking up a certain math subject and studying it in more detail than I normally would to be a waste of time. I've always gained a deeper understanding the material, but I've rarely actually found the trick on the web, I usually figured it out on my own, :LOL, usually in the shower. I have noticed though that a lot of my classmates are much better at spotting when these kinds of tricks are needed and seem to already have knowledge of them. Are their brains just geared more towards math then mine is? Did they have better algebra classes and calculus teachers?

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# Mathematical intuition?

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