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Re: Stupid Arithmetic Tricks

On Thu, Mar 28, 2002 at 12:31:56PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 27, 2002 at 08:08:40PM -0600, David Starner wrote:
> Now, since you can probably mop the floor with me when it comes to diff
> eq's, I'll defer to yours as the greater mathematical talent.  I thought
> I was pretty good at math until I hit that brick wall.  I phear people
> who can look at one and "just know" which solution technique to apply.

I use the same method of adding/multiplying in my head.  And don't be
*too* surprised that people can do that -- after all, the best way
to find the answer to an ODE is to *guess*.  Since some people will
naturally guess better than others.. (as we all know guessing is not
random) some people can 'see' answers to complex problems without
thinking too hard.

I had a Dynamics exam sophomore year of college with an ODE on the
last problem of the exam; only one person in the class got it
correct.  The professor was astounded.  "You didn't even TRY


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