- #1

- 726

- 27

Why does it have to be so rigorous when it comes to proving things that are so obvious they (seemingly to me) don't need to be proven?

I just started on my engineering degree, and I am extremely surprised at how proof-based the math is in my country. Why can't it be more intuition based? For instance, explaining something so utterly obvious as limits in terms of epsilons and deltas seems like a waste of time. Same thing with using 40 pages to explain proofs of the fundamental theorems of calculus + rieman sums, when a more intuitive explanation could be offered in 5 pages. An example of such an explanation is that the derived of a function over a period of time will change the function in a similar way as acceleration changes velocity.

So why is the situation like this? Who is responsible for thinking that overworked engineering students will get a deeper understanding of math if they try to memorize complex proofs, instead of getting a short and easy intuitive explanation + do loads of problems?

I mean, I talked to engineers and they have told me they never used this proof stuff. They just calculate. So if proofs neither help with understanding math nor does it have practical applications, why focus on learning it?

However, if anyone here can give good arguments for learning proofs, I will be happy to spend less time socializing and more time learning this stuff to the bone...

I just started on my engineering degree, and I am extremely surprised at how proof-based the math is in my country. Why can't it be more intuition based? For instance, explaining something so utterly obvious as limits in terms of epsilons and deltas seems like a waste of time. Same thing with using 40 pages to explain proofs of the fundamental theorems of calculus + rieman sums, when a more intuitive explanation could be offered in 5 pages. An example of such an explanation is that the derived of a function over a period of time will change the function in a similar way as acceleration changes velocity.

So why is the situation like this? Who is responsible for thinking that overworked engineering students will get a deeper understanding of math if they try to memorize complex proofs, instead of getting a short and easy intuitive explanation + do loads of problems?

I mean, I talked to engineers and they have told me they never used this proof stuff. They just calculate. So if proofs neither help with understanding math nor does it have practical applications, why focus on learning it?

However, if anyone here can give good arguments for learning proofs, I will be happy to spend less time socializing and more time learning this stuff to the bone...

Last edited: