What is a Mathematical Idea?

Source: Adelyn Yeoh’s blog, Jul 2014

i feel sad, quite often, about the way people talk about mathematics, as if to only see it as a tool, and nothing else. “teach me the fastest way to solve this!” i am often told. math is dry if you think of it this way. there are funny things – shapes and ideas – that you miss if this is all you want out of math.

what is a mathematical idea?

i’m afraid that i’ve never been able to answer this question succinctly without going into jargon. it’s hard, talking about math.

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