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 Benjamins formel for en ændring af matematikundervisningen

Filmed:
2,523,768 views

Der er altid nogen der spørger matematiklæreren, "kommer jeg til at bruge infinitesimalregning i virkeligheden?" og for de fleste af os, siger Arthur Benjamin, er svaret nej. Han fremlægger et modigt forslag til hvordan matematikundervisningen kan gøres relevant i vores digitale tidsalder.
- 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 PresidentFormand ObamaObama
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Hvis Præsident Obama
00:15
invitedinviteret me to be the nextNæste CzarCzar of MathematicsMatematik,
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inviterede mig til at blive den næste matematik-Zar,
00:19
then I would have a suggestionforslag for him
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så ville jeg have et forslag til ham
00:22
that I think would vastlylangt improveforbedre
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som jeg tror ville forbedre
00:24
the mathematicsmatematik educationuddannelse in this countryLand.
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matematikundervisningen i dette land gevaldigt.
00:27
And it would be easylet to implementgennemføre
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Og det ville være nemt at indføre
00:29
and inexpensivebillig.
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og billigt.
00:31
The mathematicsmatematik curriculumpensum that we have
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Matematik pensummet som vi har idag
00:33
is basedbaseret on a foundationfundament of arithmeticaritmetik and algebraalgebra.
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er baseret på et grundlag af aritmetik og algebra.
00:37
And everything we learnlære after that
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Og alt det som vi lærer efterfølgende
00:39
is buildingbygning up towardshen imod one subjectemne.
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bygger op imod én disciplin.
00:42
And at toptop of that pyramidpyramide, it's calculusCalculus.
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Og i toppen af den pyramide, finder man infinitesimalregning.
00:46
And I'm here to say
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Og jeg er her for at sige
00:48
that I think that that is the wrongforkert summittopmøde of the pyramidpyramide ...
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at jeg synes at dét er den forkerte top i pyramiden ...
00:52
that the correctkorrekt summittopmøde -- that all of our studentsstuderende,
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at den korrekte top -- som alle vores studerende,
00:54
everyhver highhøj schoolskole graduatebestå should know --
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som enhver student skulle kende --
00:56
should be statisticsstatistik:
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skulle være statistik:
00:59
probabilitysandsynlighed and statisticsstatistik.
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sandsynlighed og statistik.
01:01
(ApplauseBifald)
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(Klapsalver)
01:03
I mean, don't get me wrongforkert. CalculusCalculus is an importantvigtig subjectemne.
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Jeg mener, og misforstå mig nu ikke. Infinitesimalregning er en vigtig disciplin.
01:07
It's one of the great productsProdukter of the humanhuman mindsind.
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Det er et af det menneskelig hjernes store skabelser.
01:09
The lawslove of naturenatur are writtenskriftlig in the languageSprog of calculusCalculus.
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Naturens love er skrevet i infinitesimalregningens sprog.
01:13
And everyhver studentstuderende who studiesundersøgelser mathmatematik, sciencevidenskab, engineeringingeniørarbejde, economicsøkonomi,
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Og enhver student der studerer matematik, naturvidenskab, ingeniørvidenskab, økonomi,
01:17
they should definitelyhelt bestemt learnlære calculusCalculus
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skal helt afgjort lære om infinitesimalregning
01:19
by the endende of theirderes freshmanRusser yearår of collegekollegium.
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før slutningen af deres første år på universitetet.
01:21
But I'm here to say, as a professorprofessor of mathematicsmatematik,
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Men jeg er her for at sige, som professor i matematik,
01:24
that very few people actuallyrent faktisk use calculusCalculus
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at meget få mennesker rent faktisk bruger infinitesimalregning
01:28
in a consciousbevidst, meaningfulmeningsfuld way, in theirderes day-to-daydag til dag livesliv.
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på en bevidst og meningsfuld måde, i deres hverdag.
01:31
On the other handhånd,
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På den anden side,
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statisticsstatistik -- that's a subjectemne that you could,
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statistik -- dét er et fag som man kan,
01:36
and should, use on dailydaglige basisbasis. Right?
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og bør bruge på en daglig basis. Ikke sandt?
01:39
It's riskrisiko. It's rewardbelønning. It's randomnesstilfældighed.
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Det handler om risiko, belønning, tilfældighed.
01:42
It's understandingforståelse datadata.
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Det handler om dataforståelse.
01:44
I think if our studentsstuderende, if our highhøj schoolskole studentsstuderende --
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Jeg tror at, hvis vores studerende, hvis vores gymnasieelever --
01:46
if all of the AmericanAmerikansk citizensborgere --
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hvis alle de amerikanske borgere --
01:48
knewvidste about probabilitysandsynlighed and statisticsstatistik,
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kendte til sandsynlighed og statistik,
01:51
we wouldn'tville ikke be in the economicøkonomisk messrod that we're in todayi dag. (LaughterLatter) (ApplauseBifald)
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så ville vi ikke være i det økonomiske rod som vi er i i dag
01:54
Not only -- thank you -- not only that ...
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Ikke bare -- tak -- ikke bare det ...
01:57
but if it's taughtundervist properlykorrekt, it can be a lot of funsjovt.
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[men] hvis det er undervist ordenligt, kan det være meget sjovt.
02:00
I mean, probabilitysandsynlighed and statisticsstatistik,
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Altså, sandsynlighed og statistik,
02:02
it's the mathematicsmatematik of gamesspil and gamblinggambling.
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det er matematikken bag spil og hasard.
02:06
It's analyzinganalysere trendstendenser. It's predictingforudsige the futurefremtid.
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Det er at analysere tendenser. Det er at forudsige fremtiden.
02:10
Look, the worldverden has changedændret
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Verden har forandret sig
02:12
from analoganalog to digitaldigital.
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fra analog til digital.
02:15
And it's time for our mathematicsmatematik curriculumpensum to changelave om
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Og det er tid til en forandring af vores matematik pensum
02:18
from analoganalog to digitaldigital,
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fra analog til digital.
02:20
from the more classicalklassisk, continuoussammenhængende mathematicsmatematik,
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Fra det mere klassiske, kontinuerte matematik,
02:24
to the more modernmoderne, discretediskrete mathematicsmatematik --
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til det mere moderne, diskrete matematik.
02:27
the mathematicsmatematik of uncertaintyusikkerhed,
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Matematiken af usikkerheden,
02:29
of randomnesstilfældighed, of datadata --
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af tilfældigheden, af data --
02:31
that beingvære probabilitysandsynlighed and statisticsstatistik.
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og det er jo netop sandsynlighed og statistik.
02:34
In summaryResumé, insteadi stedet of our studentsstuderende
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Kort sagt, i stedet for at vores studerende
02:36
learninglæring about the techniquesteknikker of calculusCalculus,
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lærer om teknikkerne bag infinitesimalregning,
02:39
I think it would be farlangt more significantvæsentlig
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så tror jeg det vil være meget mere betydningsfyldt
02:42
if all of them knewvidste what two standardstandard deviationsafvigelser
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hvis de alle sammen vidste hvad to standardafvigelser
02:45
from the mean meansmidler. And I mean it.
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fra middeltallet betyder. Og jeg mener det.
02:48
Thank you very much.
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Mange tak.
02:50
(ApplauseBifald)
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(Klapsalver)
Translated by Jacob Buch Petersen
Reviewed by River Ferdinandy

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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