I'm afraid there is a great myth around algebra- often perpetuated by those
who see it as some great 'test of merit' This causes more problems than the
algebra itself- as it is portrayed a 'difficult' and students are often
intimidated by it. As with all teaching, the trick is to get the concepts
across by making it look easy, not by making it look difficult.
Certainly with respect to passing the various licence exams, expecting more
than basic substitution into a formula does nothing to test the candidates
understanding of the topic. Take the concept of resonance- it is far more
important that the idea of energy transferring at a proscribed rate between
and L & C is understood and that this can be determined using a formula,
than that the formula can be transposed.
During one of the IL courses I've run, several RAE holders 'sat in' on the
lectures covering C's in parallel and resonance. Afterwards, all admitted
that previously they could 'use the formula' but had not concept of what
actually was happening. If you teach the physics first, the maths is much
easier to understand and apply.
I remember doing algebra at school and I was always good at it. I did
Boolean algebra too and I recall how similar the logic is.
I recall there was a formula for all this that went something like
1/2*pi*root(LC) and I calculated equations on this formulae using paper but
that was a long time ago and had little to do with algebra.
Agreed. I knew the maths but that doesn't mean I understood them. knowledge
comes so much easier if you understand what it is you know. Though my former
statement was a political statement, completely off topic and nothing really
to do with amateur radio hence the rant tags :)
Quite a common problem. Getting a student to apply a formula blindly isn't
that difficult and is thus the easy option for a teacher who hasn't got the
knowledge or skill to develop a deeper understanding in the student. It
works in the short term, but leaves the student at a disadvantage when
trying to extend his own knowledge.
Leads to all sorts of mis-conceptions- Big K, motion without power,
It's well known that we are a bunch of carbons, chemicals, acids etc and
when all this stuff is shovelled together then it forms us and though sadly
we can all be classified psychology there is a certain grace and comfort to
having our own thoughts. We don't need to be told we are the same as
everyone else because we already know it but we don't want to believe it. we
want to believe we are extraordinary and even if in our everyday life we are
the norm, there is a seed in all of us that is extraordinary. whether it
grows or not is another issue but it is there and it dies only when we do.
Students are people Brian. teaching a formulae to them isn't difficult as
you say but then comes the big question, "why?" I'm surprised how few ask
the question openly but how many want to know the answer. One asked me why
digital TV is better than analogue and I answered honestly, I said, "Other
than its easier for them to encrypt, then I haven't the faintest idea"
Students should be led to understand but only on what they want to know and
force-feeding them knowledge is a waste of time and braincells which get
dissolved as soon as the exam is over. In this day and age you can talk to
the other side of the world by logging on to a chat room on the internet.
when I took my RAE the only ways were by telephone or short wave radio. To
me the latter was a challenge and I embraced it and I got different results
to what I was expecting. I talk to people in other countries over short wave
radio, play the piano, play with puters because I want to and not because I
Amateur radio is a hobby. people seem to forget that
I have to agree 100%. I always work to help develop and understanding- it
the long run it is actually easier to do that.
True, but that is no reason to let misconceptions persist. It is amazing
how they persist in the face of overwhelming evidence as to their folly. Big
K was around years and still raises its head from time to time.
No doubt you will run away and hide after shouting your
childish sneer from behind the safety of your mental wall,
but why not explain why you decry the concept of, "Big K"?
It is one thing to use the properties of the Diracian as an
aid to analysing the response of systems to external stimuli, but
quite another to claim that a pulse existing as part of the mechanics
of a system is either of infinite amplitude or of unity area when
that pulse has neither attributes and then to go on to claim that
the mathematical expression that you derive is a valid numerical
To what "overwhelming evidence" do you allude that pulses that
may be 5 volts high and 1uSec long, and thus having an area of
5 micro-volt-seconds are analysable by pulses that are infinitely high
and of unity area?
Over to you (wherever you try to sneak away to).....
(Or did you get the _TWO DEGREES_ that you _BOAST_
of, one in maths and one in electronics, by bullshitting the
On Mon, 7 Feb 2005 10:52:24 -0000, Airy R.Bean wrote:
I note that the reception your concept of 'Big-K' received, during
your recent drubbing on comp.dsp, was less than lukewarm, a wide
consensus being that you were using the concept to overcome something
basic that you had not yet grasped.
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