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!

亞瑟班哲明的改變數學教育方案

Filmed:
2,496,213 views

常有人問數學老師,「我在生活中會用到微積分嗎?」對多數人而言,班哲明說,答案是不會。他提出一個如何使數學教育在數位時代與生活相關的創新的建議。
- 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主席 Obama奧巴馬
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現在,假如歐巴馬總統
00:15
invited邀請 me to be the next下一個 Czar獨裁者 of Mathematics數學,
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邀請我擔任下一個數學教育總管
00:19
then I would have a suggestion建議 for him
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我將對他提個建議
00:22
that I think would vastly大大 improve提高
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我認為將會大幅改善
00:24
the mathematics數學 education教育 in this country國家.
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國內的數學教育
00:27
And it would be easy簡單 to implement實行
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而且可以很容易實施
00:29
and inexpensive便宜.
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而且費用不多。
00:31
The mathematics數學 curriculum課程 that we have
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我們現在的數學課程
00:33
is based基於 on a foundation基礎 of arithmetic算術 and algebra代數.
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是以算術與代數為基礎,
00:37
And everything we learn學習 after that
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而在那之後所學的一切
00:39
is building建造 up towards one subject學科.
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都在朝著同一個主題發展
00:42
And at top最佳 of that pyramid金字塔, it's calculus結石.
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在這金字塔的頂端,就是微積分
00:46
And I'm here to say
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我在這裡要說
00:48
that I think that that is the wrong錯誤 summit首腦 of the pyramid金字塔 ...
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我認為這是個錯誤的目標
00:52
that the correct正確 summit首腦 -- that all of our students學生們,
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而正確的目標,對全體學生而言
00:54
every一切 high school學校 graduate畢業 should know --
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每一個畢業生應該知道的
00:56
should be statistics統計:
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應該是統計
00:59
probability可能性 and statistics統計.
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機率與統計
01:01
(Applause掌聲)
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鼓掌聲
01:03
I mean, don't get me wrong錯誤. Calculus結石 is an important重要 subject學科.
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請別誤會,微積分是個重要的學科
01:07
It's one of the great products製品 of the human人的 mind心神.
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它是人類心智最重要的產物之一
01:09
The laws法律 of nature性質 are written書面 in the language語言 of calculus結石.
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大自然的定律是以微積分來描述的
01:13
And every一切 student學生 who studies學習 math數學, science科學, engineering工程, economics經濟學,
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每一個學習數學、科學、工程、經濟的學生
01:17
they should definitely無疑 learn學習 calculus結石
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他們絕對需要學習微積分
01:19
by the end結束 of their freshman新生 year of college學院.
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在他們大一就得學會
01:21
But I'm here to say, as a professor教授 of mathematics數學,
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但身為一個數學教授,我要說
01:24
that very few少數 people actually其實 use calculus結石
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很少人會實際用到微積分
01:28
in a conscious意識, meaningful富有意義的 way, in their day-to-day日復一日 lives生活.
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以有意識、有意義的方式,用在日常生活中
01:31
On the other hand,
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但另一方面
01:33
statistics統計 -- that's a subject學科 that you could,
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統計學--是你可以應用的學科
01:36
and should, use on daily日常 basis基礎. Right?
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並且應該在日常生活中使用的,對嗎?
01:39
It's risk風險. It's reward獎勵. It's randomness隨機性.
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它討論風險、報償、隨機性
01:42
It's understanding理解 data數據.
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它是了解數據的工具
01:44
I think if our students學生們, if our high school學校 students學生們 --
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我想,如果我們的學生,
01:46
if all of the American美國 citizens公民 --
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如果所有的美國人民
01:48
knew知道 about probability可能性 and statistics統計,
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懂得機率與統計學
01:51
we wouldn't不會 be in the economic經濟 mess食堂 that we're in today今天. (Laughter笑聲) (Applause掌聲)
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我們就不會陷入今天這場經濟風暴
01:54
Not only -- thank you -- not only that ...
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不止這樣
01:57
but if it's taught properly正確, it can be a lot of fun開玩笑.
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如果教法適當,它可以是很有趣的
02:00
I mean, probability可能性 and statistics統計,
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機率與統計
02:02
it's the mathematics數學 of games遊戲 and gambling賭博.
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它是遊戲與賭博的數學
02:06
It's analyzing分析 trends趨勢. It's predicting預測 the future未來.
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它分析趨勢、預測未來
02:10
Look, the world世界 has changed
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你看,這世界已經改變了
02:12
from analog類似物 to digital數字.
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從類比式的變成數位式
02:15
And it's time for our mathematics數學 curriculum課程 to change更改
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也是改變我們數學課程的時候了
02:18
from analog類似物 to digital數字,
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從類比式變成數位式
02:20
from the more classical古典, continuous連續 mathematics數學,
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從古典、連續式的數學
02:24
to the more modern現代, discrete離散的 mathematics數學 --
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變成更現代、分離式的數學
02:27
the mathematics數學 of uncertainty不確定,
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探討不確定性的數學
02:29
of randomness隨機性, of data數據 --
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探討數據的隨機性
02:31
that being存在 probability可能性 and statistics統計.
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那就是機率與統計
02:34
In summary概要, instead代替 of our students學生們
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簡要的說,與其
02:36
learning學習 about the techniques技術 of calculus結石,
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讓學生學微積分
02:39
I think it would be far more significant重大
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我想更重要的是
02:42
if all of them knew知道 what two standard標準 deviations偏差
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讓他們了解,距離平均值兩個標準差
02:45
from the mean means手段. And I mean it.
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代表什麼意思,會更有意義
02:48
Thank you very much.
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謝謝大家
02:50
(Applause掌聲)
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鼓掌聲
Translated by chufung dou
Reviewed by Adrienne Lin

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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