Understanding Mathematics by Peter Alfeld, Department of Mathematics, University of Utah

Does the thought "I can look it up if I have to " occur to you frequently?

Remember that this is a math course, not an introduction to your local telephone book. It is of course useful to know where to find some things in the literature, but acquiring new mathematics means increasing your ability to reason and think about certain concepts and problems. You need to change your approach to mathematics and this page is trying to tell you what your approach should be.

Here's a supposedly true story professors sometimes tell each other: Candidate X is taking his oral Ph.D. qualifying exam and is asked about how to approach a certain problem. He says: "You use some theorem. I forgot, but I can always look it up when I need it". After a few moments of silence one of his examiners responds: "You need it now!"

Fine print, your comments, more links, Peter Alfeld, PA1UM