1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Courses Question About a Course on Mathematical Thinking

  1. May 25, 2010 #1
    I have to take a required course for my major this fall titled Mathematical Thinking. The course description says something along the ways of "students are expected to give presentations, for examples and counterexamples and proof mathematical theories..." that's not verbatim, but it's what I can remember from the description.

    I'm not familiar with this type of class and I'm just wondering if this is a common requirement and what I should expect from this class?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2010 #2
    I am not sure about if this is what you're talking about, but Mathematical Problem Solving is usually offered as a second year undergrad course - see the book the Art of Problem Solving. It is usually along the lines of math competitions (Putnam and all those fun contests) and focuses on develop problem solving skills (proof by contradiction, symmetry, recursion, etc) for various topics rather than developing an entire system of definitions & theorems for only a single topic.
  4. May 25, 2010 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It's a form of transition from "cookbook style" mathematics (Calculus, LA and DE to a certain extent) to a more "proof-based" mathematics (algebra, analysis, and so on). Some students have trouble making that abrupt switch in mathematical thinking, hence the need for an introductory course to proof. Take the class if you haven't had a good exposure to proofs before.
  5. May 25, 2010 #4
    Thanks for the explanation, it helped me a lot. It's a required class for me so I have to take it; I'm glad now I know what I'm going into. Thanks again.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook