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!

亚瑟.本杰明对改变数学教育的见解

Filmed:
2,594,147 views

有的人常常问数学老师说,“我会在真实生活中用到微积分吗?”对于我们大多数人来说,亚瑟.本杰明说,这个答案是否定的。他提出了一个建议,让数学教育和数字时代相关联。
- 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 (or triple-click) the English transcript below to play the video.

00:12
Now, if President主席 Obama奥巴马
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现在,如果奥巴马总统
00:15
invited邀请 me to be the next下一个 Czar独裁者 of Mathematics数学,
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邀请我出任下一个数学沙皇,
00:19
then I would have a suggestion建议 for him
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那么我会对他提出一个建议
00:22
that I think would vastly大大 improve提高
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我认为会极大改善
00:24
the mathematics数学 education教育 in this country国家.
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这个国家的数学教育。
00:27
And it would be easy简单 to implement实行
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这个建议实施起来很容易
00:29
and inexpensive便宜.
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而且不会花费太多。
00:31
The mathematics数学 curriculum课程 that we have
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我们的数学课程
00:33
is based基于 on a foundation基础 of arithmetic算术 and algebra代数.
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是以代数和几何作为根基的。
00:37
And everything we learn学习 after that
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我们所学的每个东西
00:39
is building建造 up towards one subject学科.
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都层层相扣地朝向一个主题。
00:42
And at top最佳 of that pyramid金字塔, it's calculus结石.
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金字塔的顶端,是微积分。
00:46
And I'm here to say
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我在这里想说的是
00:48
that I think that that is the wrong错误 summit首脑 of the pyramid金字塔 ...
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我认为这种金字塔顶端是微积分的说法是错误的……
00:52
that the correct正确 summit首脑 -- that all of our students学生们,
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正确的顶端-所有的学生,
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every一切 high school学校 graduate毕业 should know --
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每个高中毕业生应当知道-
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should be statistics统计:
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那即是统计:
00:59
probability可能性 and statistics统计.
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概率和统计。
01:01
(Applause掌声)
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(掌声)
01:03
I mean, don't get me wrong错误. Calculus结石 is an important重要 subject学科.
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不过,别误解我。微积分当然是一门重要的学科。
01:07
It's one of the great products制品 of the human人的 mind心神.
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它是人类思维的其中一个伟大产物。
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The laws法律 of nature性质 are written书面 in the language语言 of calculus结石.
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自然法则就是建立在微积分上。
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And every一切 student学生 who studies学习 math数学, science科学, engineering工程, economics经济学,
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而且每个学习数学、自然科学、工程和经济的学生,
01:17
they should definitely无疑 learn学习 calculus结石
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都绝对应当学习微积分,
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by the end结束 of their freshman新生 year of college学院.
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在他们作为大学新生的第一年。
01:21
But I'm here to say, as a professor教授 of mathematics数学,
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但我在这里要说的是,作为一个数学教授,
01:24
that very few少数 people actually其实 use calculus结石
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很少人真正使用微积分,
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in a conscious意识, meaningful富有意义的 way, in their day-to-day日复一日 lives生活.
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有意在日常生活中使用微积分。
01:31
On the other hand,
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另一方面,
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statistics统计 -- that's a subject学科 that you could,
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统计-作为一个学科你能,
01:36
and should, use on daily日常 basis基础. Right?
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而且应该在日常生活中使用。对吧?
01:39
It's risk风险. It's reward奖励. It's randomness随机性.
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它是风险。它是奖励。它没有规律。
01:42
It's understanding理解 data数据.
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它是对数据的理解。
01:44
I think if our students学生们, if our high school学校 students学生们 --
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我认为如果我们的学生,如果我们的高中生-
01:46
if all of the American美国 citizens公民 --
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如果每一个美国人-
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knew知道 about probability可能性 and statistics统计,
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了解概率和统计,
01:51
we wouldn't不会 be in the economic经济 mess食堂 that we're in today今天. (Laughter笑声) (Applause掌声)
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那么我们不会经历今天的经济紊乱。
01:54
Not only -- thank you -- not only that ...
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不只是-谢谢-不只是那些……
01:57
but if it's taught properly正确, it can be a lot of fun开玩笑.
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如果它正确的被教授,它会有很多乐趣。
02:00
I mean, probability可能性 and statistics统计,
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我是说,概率和统计,
02:02
it's the mathematics数学 of games游戏 and gambling赌博.
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是游戏和赌博的数学形式。
02:06
It's analyzing分析 trends趋势. It's predicting预测 the future未来.
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我们用它分析趋势,我们用它预测未来。
02:10
Look, the world世界 has changed
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看,这个世界已经变了
02:12
from analog类似物 to digital数字.
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从模拟时代到数字时代。
02:15
And it's time for our mathematics数学 curriculum课程 to change更改
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现在正是我们数学课程改变的时刻,
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from analog类似物 to digital数字,
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从模拟到数字。
02:20
from the more classical古典, continuous连续 mathematics数学,
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从更加古典、连续的数学,
02:24
to the more modern现代, discrete离散的 mathematics数学 --
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到更加现代、离散的数学。
02:27
the mathematics数学 of uncertainty不确定,
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数学中的不确定性,
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of randomness随机性, of data数据 --
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数据的不规律性
02:31
that being存在 probability可能性 and statistics统计.
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便是统计和概率。
02:34
In summary概要, instead代替 of our students学生们
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总体来说,比起让我们的学生
02:36
learning学习 about the techniques技术 of calculus结石,
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学习微积分公式,
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I think it would be far more significant重大
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我认为更加重要的是
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if all of them knew知道 what two standard标准 deviations偏差
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让他们所有人知道两个平均数标准差
02:45
from the mean means手段. And I mean it.
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的意思。我是认真的。
02:48
Thank you very much.
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非常感谢。
02:50
(Applause掌声)
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(掌声)
Translated by Miss S
Reviewed by Zoe Chen

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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