Teaching the Usual Subject in Unusual Ways
Maurice Machover, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The usual math syllabus is covered in a somewhat standard way that the textbooks all use. The course could be made more interesting by presenting alternative and surprising proofs, as is often done in math journals. Some examples will be presented here such as Lewis Carrol’s method of evaluating determinants, the pseudo inverse for non-invertible, non-square, matrices, quick derivation of Euler’s formula for students who have never seen the square root of -1, quickest proof of (a squared + b squared = c squarded) from units and dimension physics, and finally, proof by poem (with examples).