Saturday, November 15, 2008

Part 2 : Thoughts of “How we do?” – Is Experience Matters?

Thoughts of “How we do?” 
Is Experience Matters?

Again, I am starting with another example from my mathematical studies, in my school life, our mathematical teacher used to ask the following question. 
If x + 3 = 5 then how much is x?
We can simply say answer: x = 2. But he normally not stops with that. Next he used to ask that how you find that answer.
Again we can go for lot of explanations, but he wants only the following answer.
“If we add 2 with 3 only we can get 5, so x should be 2, no other number”
As usual, I have explained another arithmetical example, answer and a way of getting the answer. Is that all? 

No, we shouldn’t stop at this point and have to think further. We have to think that how he finds out the way of getting the answer. I agree not only him; most of us may have this ability of thinking in the way I explained. But, my question is how the way of thinking came to us and how we could switch between these kinds of different way of thinking. For example he would have try with conventional way of calculation like as adding -3 both side etc. But he did the way I explained early. Not only him, me too like the same.

Is this came from his experience?
Normally people don’t believe learning to solve mathematical problem will be useful in real life. Let us check another non-mathematical example same as this. In a project, we have an employee, project manager have a performance expectation. But we couldn’t get the expected performance. So here we have to provide something to the employee to get the expected performance. So that can be training, some motivation factor or just a small discussion. Here also project manager have the same formula as above. And have to identify the missing part in the left side.

First, we will check what we need to solve the above problems in conventional way. For the arithmetical problem, we should understand about 5 and 3. Not only that, we should know how to subtract the 3 from 5. That is, we should know the subtraction operation. For the project manager’s problem, we should understand all about the employee and the expected performance, finally the subtraction operation of them. Here it is impossible to understand them or very hard.

Let us check what we want to solve the same problems in the way my teacher expected. We just want to add some choices as 1, 2, 3… and check whether we are getting the result. And for the management problem again we have to provide some choices as training etc and check to see the expectation. Then choose that as the solution. It is mostly possible and we do the same for most of our real life problems.

So, if we want to solve problems in the way my teacher expected, then we should have much choice as 1, 2, 3 … or training etc. I believe this collection of choices can be increased with experience only. Here I didn’t mean just years of life; rather I meant to have an experience with focus on this kind of thing and a big collection.

As a conclusion, the experience may give different choice of way of thinking to get a solution. But I see that things like, switching between different solution methods and deciding how long to spend in one method; make more effect in our thinking patterns. And this is a kind of art; individual attitude or may have came with us when we are born. We wanted to think much on this. Let us check in another post.


2 comments:

PATHYMATHY said...

superb..........continue on your project.Stop not till the goal is reached.....
வாழ்த்துக்கள்..வள்ர்க

Jeya said...

HI anna,
Great Article ....!!!
Again u have connected real world problems .....thats what i was excepting from the first article , and u have done it... great work anna ....!!!!

Hoping to see more from u .!!
good luck