ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Arthur Benjamin - Mathemagician
Using daring displays of algorithmic trickery, lightning calculator and number wizard Arthur Benjamin mesmerizes audiences with mathematical mystery and beauty.

Why you should listen

Arthur Benjamin makes numbers dance. In his day job, he's a professor of math at Harvey Mudd College; in his other day job, he's a "Mathemagician," taking the stage in his tuxedo to perform high-speed mental calculations, memorizations and other astounding math stunts. It's part of his drive to teach math and mental agility in interesting ways, following in the footsteps of such heroes as Martin Gardner.

Benjamin is the co-author, with Michael Shermer, of Secrets of Mental Math (which shares his secrets for rapid mental calculation), as well as the co-author of the MAA award-winning Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof. For a glimpse of his broad approach to math, see the list of research talks on his website, which seesaws between high-level math (such as his "Vandermonde's Determinant and Fibonacci SAWs," presented at MIT in 2004) and engaging math talks for the rest of us ("An Amazing Mathematical Card Trick").

More profile about the speaker
Arthur Benjamin | Speaker | TED.com
TED2009

Arthur Benjamin: Teach statistics before calculus!

Arthur Benjamin se formule vir beter wiskunde opleiding

Filmed:
2,496,213 views

Daar's altyd iemand wat die wiskunde onderwyser vra: "Gaan ek ooit integrasie rekenkunde in die regte lewe gebruik?" En volgens Arthur Benjamin is die antwoord vir die meeste van ons "nee". Hy maak 'n uitdagende voorstel vir hoe om wiskunde relevant te maak in die digitale era.
- Mathemagician
Using daring displays of algorithmic trickery, lightning calculator and number wizard Arthur Benjamin mesmerizes audiences with mathematical mystery and beauty. Full bio

Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.

00:12
Now, if PresidentPresident ObamaObama
0
0
3000
Sou President Obama
00:15
invitedgenooi me to be the nextvolgende CzarCzar of MathematicsWiskunde,
1
3000
4000
my nooi as die volgende Tsar van Wiskunde
00:19
then I would have a suggestionsuggestie for him
2
7000
3000
sou ek 'n voorstel aan hom maak
00:22
that I think would vastlyaansienlik improveverbeter
3
10000
2000
wat ek dink 'n reuse verbetering
00:24
the mathematicswiskunde educationonderwys in this countryland.
4
12000
3000
sou maak aan wiskunde opvoeding in hierdie land.
00:27
And it would be easymaklik to implementimplementeer
5
15000
2000
Dit sal maklik wees om te implementeer
00:29
and inexpensivegoedkoop.
6
17000
2000
en sonder groot koste.
00:31
The mathematicswiskunde curriculumkurrikulum that we have
7
19000
2000
Die kurrikulum vir wiskunde wat ons het
00:33
is basedgebaseer on a foundationfondament of arithmeticrekenkundige and algebraalgebra.
8
21000
4000
is gebaseer op rekenkunde en algebra.
00:37
And everything we learnleer after that
9
25000
2000
En alles wat ons daarna leer
00:39
is buildinggebou up towardsteenoor one subjectonderwerp.
10
27000
3000
bou op na een vak.
00:42
And at topTop of that pyramidpiramide, it's calculuscalculus.
11
30000
4000
Die toppunt van die piramiede is differensiasie en integrasie.
00:46
And I'm here to say
12
34000
2000
Ek is hier om te sê
00:48
that I think that that is the wrongverkeerde summitberaad of the pyramidpiramide ...
13
36000
4000
dat ek dink dit die verkeerde toppunt vir die piramiede is...
00:52
that the correctkorrekte summitberaad -- that all of our studentsstudente,
14
40000
2000
en dat die korrekte piek -- wat al ons studente,
00:54
everyelke highhoë schoolskool graduategegradueerde should know --
15
42000
2000
elke hoërskool leerling behoort te verstaan --
00:56
should be statisticsstatistieke:
16
44000
3000
statistiek behoort te wees:
00:59
probabilitywaarskynlikheid and statisticsstatistieke.
17
47000
2000
waarskynlikheid en statistiek.
01:01
(ApplauseApplous)
18
49000
2000
(Applous)
01:03
I mean, don't get me wrongverkeerde. CalculusCalculus is an importantbelangrik subjectonderwerp.
19
51000
4000
Moenie my verkeerd verstaan nie. Integrasie rekenkunde is 'n belangrike vak.
01:07
It's one of the great productsprodukte of the humanmens mindgedagte.
20
55000
2000
Dis een van die groot prestasies van menslike intellek.
01:09
The lawswette of natureaard are writtengeskryf in the languageTaal of calculuscalculus.
21
57000
4000
The wette van die natuur is geskryf in die taal van integrasie rekenkunde.
01:13
And everyelke studentstudent who studiesstudies mathwiskunde, sciencewetenskap, engineeringingenieurswese, economicsekonomie,
22
61000
4000
Enige student wat wiskunde, wetenskap, ingenieurswese of ekonomie bestudeer
01:17
they should definitelybeslis learnleer calculuscalculus
23
65000
2000
behoort verseker integrasie rekenkunde te bemeester
01:19
by the endeinde of theirhulle freshmanfreshman yearjaar of collegekollege.
24
67000
2000
gedurende hulle eerste universiteitsjaar.
01:21
But I'm here to say, as a professorprofessor of mathematicswiskunde,
25
69000
3000
Maar ek is hier, as 'n wiskunde professor, om te sê:
01:24
that very fewpaar people actuallyeintlik use calculuscalculus
26
72000
4000
dat bitter min mense werklik integrasie rekenkunde gebruik
01:28
in a consciousbewuste, meaningfulbetekenisvolle way, in theirhulle day-to-daydag-tot-dag liveslewens.
27
76000
3000
op 'n bewustelike, betekenisvolle manier in hulle daaglikse lewens.
01:31
On the other handhand,
28
79000
2000
Daarinteen,
01:33
statisticsstatistieke -- that's a subjectonderwerp that you could,
29
81000
3000
is statistiek 'n vak wat jy daagliks
01:36
and should, use on dailydaaglikse basisbasis. Right?
30
84000
3000
kan en behoort te gebruik. Ne?
01:39
It's riskrisiko. It's rewardbeloning. It's randomnessewekansigheid.
31
87000
3000
Dis risiko. Dis vergoeding. Dis willekeurigheid.
01:42
It's understandingbegrip datadata.
32
90000
2000
Dis die verstaan van data.
01:44
I think if our studentsstudente, if our highhoë schoolskool studentsstudente --
33
92000
2000
Ek dink as ons studente, as ons hoërskool leerlinge --
01:46
if all of the AmericanAmerikaanse citizensburgers --
34
94000
2000
as alle Amerikaanse burgers -
01:48
knewgeweet about probabilitywaarskynlikheid and statisticsstatistieke,
35
96000
3000
waarskynlikheid en statistiek geken het,
01:51
we wouldn'tsou nie be in the economicekonomiese messgemors that we're in todayvandag. (LaughterLag) (ApplauseApplous)
36
99000
3000
sou ons nie nou in hierdie ekonomiese verknorsing gewees het nie.
01:54
Not only -- thank you -- not only that ...
37
102000
3000
Nie net -- dankie -- nie net dit nie...
01:57
but if it's taughtgeleer properlybehoorlik, it can be a lot of funpret.
38
105000
3000
[maar ook] korrek aangebied, kan dit baie pret wees.
02:00
I mean, probabilitywaarskynlikheid and statisticsstatistieke,
39
108000
2000
Ek bedoel, waarskynlikheid en statistiek,
02:02
it's the mathematicswiskunde of gamesspeletjies and gamblingdobbel.
40
110000
4000
dis die wiskunde van speletjies en dobbel.
02:06
It's analyzingBesig om te ontleed trendstendense. It's predictingvoorspel the futuretoekoms.
41
114000
4000
Dis die ontleding van tendense. Dis toekomsvoorspelling.
02:10
Look, the worldwêreld has changedverander
42
118000
2000
Kyk, die wêreld het verander
02:12
from analoganaloog to digitaldigitale.
43
120000
3000
van analoog na digitaal.
02:15
And it's time for our mathematicswiskunde curriculumkurrikulum to changeverandering
44
123000
3000
En dis tyd vir ons wiskunde kurrikulum om te verander
02:18
from analoganaloog to digitaldigitale,
45
126000
2000
van analoog na digitaal.
02:20
from the more classicalklassieke, continuousdeurlopende mathematicswiskunde,
46
128000
4000
Van die meer klassieke, aaneenlopende wiskunde,
02:24
to the more modernmoderne, discretediskrete mathematicswiskunde --
47
132000
3000
na die meer moderne, spesifieke wiskunde.
02:27
the mathematicswiskunde of uncertaintyonsekerheid,
48
135000
2000
Die wiskunde van onsekerheid,
02:29
of randomnessewekansigheid, of datadata --
49
137000
2000
van willekeurigheid, van data --
02:31
that beingwese probabilitywaarskynlikheid and statisticsstatistieke.
50
139000
3000
dit is waarskynlikheid en statistiek.
02:34
In summaryOpsomming, insteadplaas of our studentsstudente
51
142000
2000
Om op te som, instede daarvan dat studente
02:36
learningleer about the techniquestegnieke of calculuscalculus,
52
144000
3000
die tegnieke van integrasie rekenkunde leer,
02:39
I think it would be farver more significantbeduidende
53
147000
3000
dink ek dit sal veel meer betekenisvol wees
02:42
if all of them knewgeweet what two standardstandaard deviationsafwykings
54
150000
3000
as hulle almal sou weet wat twee standaard afwykings
02:45
from the mean meansbeteken. And I mean it.
55
153000
3000
van die gemiddeld beteken. En dis my betekenisvolle mening!
02:48
Thank you very much.
56
156000
2000
Baie dankie.
02:50
(ApplauseApplous)
57
158000
3000
(Toejuiging)
Translated by Christiaan Crafford
Reviewed by Ingrid Lezar

▲Back to top

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Arthur Benjamin - Mathemagician
Using daring displays of algorithmic trickery, lightning calculator and number wizard Arthur Benjamin mesmerizes audiences with mathematical mystery and beauty.

Why you should listen

Arthur Benjamin makes numbers dance. In his day job, he's a professor of math at Harvey Mudd College; in his other day job, he's a "Mathemagician," taking the stage in his tuxedo to perform high-speed mental calculations, memorizations and other astounding math stunts. It's part of his drive to teach math and mental agility in interesting ways, following in the footsteps of such heroes as Martin Gardner.

Benjamin is the co-author, with Michael Shermer, of Secrets of Mental Math (which shares his secrets for rapid mental calculation), as well as the co-author of the MAA award-winning Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof. For a glimpse of his broad approach to math, see the list of research talks on his website, which seesaws between high-level math (such as his "Vandermonde's Determinant and Fibonacci SAWs," presented at MIT in 2004) and engaging math talks for the rest of us ("An Amazing Mathematical Card Trick").

More profile about the speaker
Arthur Benjamin | Speaker | TED.com