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 si oppskrift for å endra matematikkutdanninga

Filmed:
2,523,768 views

Somme spør støtt mattelæraren: "Kjem eg nokon gong til å få nytte av funksjonsanalyse i det verkelege livet?" Og for dei fleste av oss, seier Arthur Benjamin, er svaret nei. Han kjem med eit dristig framlegg til korleis ein skal gjera matematikkutdanninga relevant i den digitale tidsalderen.
- 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 President Obama
0
0
3000
Viss President Obama
00:15
invited me to be the next Czar of Mathematics,
1
3000
4000
inviterte meg til å verte den neste matematikk-tsaren,
00:19
then I would have a suggestion for him
2
7000
3000
ville eg hatt eit framlegg til han
00:22
that I think would vastly improve
3
10000
2000
som eg trur ville ha betra
00:24
the mathematics education in this country.
4
12000
3000
matematikkutdanninga i landet stort.
00:27
And it would be easy to implement
5
15000
2000
Og det ville ha vore både lett
00:29
and inexpensive.
6
17000
2000
og billeg å gjennomføre.
00:31
The mathematics curriculum that we have
7
19000
2000
Matematikkpensumet me har
00:33
is based on a foundation of arithmetic and algebra.
8
21000
4000
er basert på grunnleggjande aritmetikk og algebra.
00:37
And everything we learn after that
9
25000
2000
Og alt me lærer etter det
00:39
is building up towards one subject.
10
27000
3000
byggjer oppover mot eitt fag.
00:42
And at top of that pyramid, it's calculus.
11
30000
4000
Og på toppen av denne pyramiden står funksjonsanalysen.
00:46
And I'm here to say
12
34000
2000
Og eg er her for å seie
00:48
that I think that that is the wrong summit of the pyramid ...
13
36000
4000
at eg meiner dette er feil topp på pyramiden ...
00:52
that the correct summit -- that all of our students,
14
40000
2000
at den rette toppen -- som alle studentane våre,
00:54
every high school graduate should know --
15
42000
2000
alle som går ut frå high school burde kunne --
00:56
should be statistics:
16
44000
3000
skulle ha vore statistikk:
00:59
probability and statistics.
17
47000
2000
sannsynsrekning og statistikk.
01:01
(Applause)
18
49000
2000
(Applaus)
01:03
I mean, don't get me wrong. Calculus is an important subject.
19
51000
4000
Eg meiner, misforstå meg rett -- funksjonsanalyse er eit viktig emne.
01:07
It's one of the great products of the human mind.
20
55000
2000
Det er ei av mennesket sine største intellektuelle bedrifter.
01:09
The laws of nature are written in the language of calculus.
21
57000
4000
Naturlovene er skrivne i dette språket.
01:13
And every student who studies math, science, engineering, economics,
22
61000
4000
Og alle som studerer matematikk, naturvitskap, tekniske fag, økonomi,
01:17
they should definitely learn calculus
23
65000
2000
bør absolutt lære seg funksjonsanalyse
01:19
by the end of their freshman year of college.
24
67000
2000
i løpet av det første studieåret.
01:21
But I'm here to say, as a professor of mathematics,
25
69000
3000
Men eg er her for å seie, som matematikkprofessor,
01:24
that very few people actually use calculus
26
72000
4000
at svært få menneske faktisk nyttar funksjonsanalyse
01:28
in a conscious, meaningful way, in their day-to-day lives.
27
76000
3000
på ein medviten, meiningsfull måte i kvardagsliva sine.
01:31
On the other hand,
28
79000
2000
Statistikk derimot --
01:33
statistics -- that's a subject that you could,
29
81000
3000
det er eit fag som du kan,
01:36
and should, use on daily basis. Right?
30
84000
3000
og bør, nytta til dagleg. Ikkje sant?
01:39
It's risk. It's reward. It's randomness.
31
87000
3000
Det er risiko. Det er vinst. Det er vilkårlegheit.
01:42
It's understanding data.
32
90000
2000
Det er å forstå data.
01:44
I think if our students, if our high school students --
33
92000
2000
Eg trur at viss studentane våre, viss elevane våre på high school --
01:46
if all of the American citizens --
34
94000
2000
viss alle amerikanarar --
01:48
knew about probability and statistics,
35
96000
3000
kunne sannsynsrekning og statistikk,
01:51
we wouldn't be in the economic mess that we're in today. (Laughter) (Applause)
36
99000
3000
ville vi ikkje ha hamna i det økonomiske uføret som me er i i dag.
01:54
Not only -- thank you -- not only that ...
37
102000
3000
Ikkje berre -- takk skal de ha -- ikkje berre det ...
01:57
but if it's taught properly, it can be a lot of fun.
38
105000
3000
viss det vert undervist på rett måte, kan det vere verkeleg moro.
02:00
I mean, probability and statistics,
39
108000
2000
Eg meiner, sannsynsrekning og statistikk,
02:02
it's the mathematics of games and gambling.
40
110000
4000
er matematikken for spel og gambling.
02:06
It's analyzing trends. It's predicting the future.
41
114000
4000
Det er å analysere trendar. Det er å spå om framtida.
02:10
Look, the world has changed
42
118000
2000
Høyr her, verda har endra seg
02:12
from analog to digital.
43
120000
3000
frå analog til digital.
02:15
And it's time for our mathematics curriculum to change
44
123000
3000
Og det er på tide at matematikkpensumet vårt endrar seg
02:18
from analog to digital,
45
126000
2000
frå det analoge til det digitale.
02:20
from the more classical, continuous mathematics,
46
128000
4000
Frå den meir klassiske, kontinuerlege matematikken,
02:24
to the more modern, discrete mathematics --
47
132000
3000
til den meir moderne, diskrete matematikken.
02:27
the mathematics of uncertainty,
48
135000
2000
Til matematikk om uvisse,
02:29
of randomness, of data --
49
137000
2000
om vilkårlegheit, om data --
02:31
that being probability and statistics.
50
139000
3000
og dette er sannsynsrekning og statistikk.
02:34
In summary, instead of our students
51
142000
2000
For å oppsummere, i staden for at studentane våre
02:36
learning about the techniques of calculus,
52
144000
3000
skal lære teknikkar for funksjonsanalyse,
02:39
I think it would be far more significant
53
147000
3000
meiner eg det hadde hatt mykje meir å seie
02:42
if all of them knew what two standard deviations
54
150000
3000
at alle saman visste kva to standardavvik
02:45
from the mean means. And I mean it.
55
153000
3000
frå gjennomsnittet tyder. Og det meiner eg.
02:48
Thank you very much.
56
156000
2000
Tusen takk skal de ha.
02:50
(Applause)
57
158000
3000
(Applaus)
Translated by Kjartan Steen-Olsen
Reviewed by TED Open Translation

▲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