Questions tagged [education]

This tag can be used for two purposes, either for resources for learning, or for to learn more about a scientist's/mathematician's educational background.

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4
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4answers
155 views

Where did the false “equal transit-time” explanation of lift originate from?

It's supposedly a "widely circulated" false claim that wings generate lift because of their asymmetric shape, forcing air above to travel faster so that they meet up on the trailing edge at the same ...
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2answers
11k views

How did Ramanujan learn to do mathematics?

Did Ramanujan have any formal training in mathematics? I read that he did not. Then how did he learn to do mathematics? Mathematics does not come from instinct. You have to learn the basic facts. How ...
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4answers
166 views

Are there any sources of mathematicians talking about their research methods?

I recall reading this article that was written to explain how Descartes read philosophy effectively. I am wondering if such analogous tips have been made by past mathematicians?
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4answers
1k views

Examples of good research mathematicians that did poorly in exams

Are there any examples of mathematicians have produced good research, having done poorly in mathematics exams?
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1answer
84 views

What were the typical ways students were taught the elements when it remained the prime textbook of mathematics?

In modern textbooks, students are greeted with plenty of exercises. Usually they are also organized in such a way that you have examples and pointers to what concepts are most important. The elements ...
5
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2answers
265 views

How long has the order of priority of arithmetical operations been widely taught in high schools?

Browsing Facebook, I often come across posts like this, to test peoples' understanding of order of operations. This inevitably prompts a deluge of answers that either misunderstand the concept or ...
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0answers
101 views

At what point did Calculus become a required field of study for aspiring scientists?

Nowadays, it's nearly impossible to obtain a university degree in a scientific discipline without completing at least some basic coursework in Calculus, and often times advanced courses are required. ...
6
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1answer
441 views

What algebra problem did Serge Lang give to calculus students?

Joel Spolsky tells this story: Serge Lang, a math professor at Yale, used to give his Calculus students a fairly simple algebra problem on the first day of classes, one which almost everyone could ...
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0answers
35 views

Science about population interaction with ecosystems?

I am curious in the lack of scientific field/perceived research of ecosystems and their developments, or maybe I never encountered it. Is there any such field, investigating ecosystems "start" to end ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Was the value of the mole invented or discovered in chemistry?

For example, $\pi$ is not an invention, it is a discovery which was natural, that is ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. But when we define a meter it is not a natural value it is ...
3
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0answers
92 views

Earliest drawings of the plots of trigonometric functions

[Even though this question may seem as a duplicate of this question about the History of sine function, I'd like to ask it again - with a more specific title and a more specific focus (on specific ...
12
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3answers
241 views

When were problem sets included in Science/math textbooks?

If you look at old books like Euclid, and Archimedes it seems that there weren't any problem set exercises. They just presented the all information. There were no "end chapter" problems. In short, it ...
4
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2answers
286 views

Seeking numbers of German mathematics professors in 1890

Is there a source collecting data on the numbers of Mathematics professors (I mean with rank of Ordinarius, or ordentlicher Professor) in German Universities around 1890? To see how clearly both the ...
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7answers
719 views

Seeking sources: Catholic church and the development of mathematics

I teach mathematics at a Catholic liberal arts college. This semester, I am teaching Real Analysis and I want students to complete a semester-long research project that extends beyond the course ...
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3answers
1k views

When and why did the concept of relativistic mass become outdated?

While browsing on Physics Stack Exchange, I discovered numerous posts (these two are examples) which assert that relativistic mass is an outdated concept used in older textbooks. Looking through my ...
40
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2answers
3k views

When exactly (and why) did matrices become a part of the undergraduate curriculum?

Let me tell what I know about this. It is well-known that Heisenberg invented matrix multiplication himself, in his great paper that is considered part of the foundation of quantum mechanics. This was ...
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3answers
9k views

Why were 20th Century German scientists so impressive?

German (and Austrian) scientists of the late 19th - early 20th centuries seem to have been the backbone of most of modern physics - namely quantum theory/mechanics. The following are a few predominant ...
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2answers
123 views

What was taught in 19th century European electricity and/or magnetism courses?

What topics were taught in late-19th century electricity and/or magnetism courses in Europe?
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0answers
79 views

How was physics taught in the past (e.g., in the 19th century)?

Were there physics teaching aids used in the past? Or did professors just basically follow the textbook the students read? In other words: How was physics was taught in the past (e.g., in the 19th ...
12
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1answer
269 views

What kind of mathematical education did Leibniz have?

It doesn't seem that he began his life in mathematics. Does anyone know how it came to be ? What did he read ?
5
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1answer
191 views

Where can I learn more about lesser known mathematicians?

I'm reaching the point in my mathematical career that the names aren't so well known. Everybody knows that Euler was great and Gauss was even better, and it's not hard to learn that if Riemann died ...
4
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1answer
101 views

History of computing/computation in higher education

A Google search for the first academic computer science program a couple of years ago cited a half-dozen programs in France and England that were considered proto-computer science. Current searches ...
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3answers
4k views

Are there any famous physicists that never went to university?

With the restriction of physicists after the year 1900, were there any self-taught physicists that achieved fame without having gone to university?