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How to read mathematics

When I started reading Concrete Mathematics, I was taken aback. After reading the first chapter, I felt it is good, I already know Tower of Hanoi and induction let’s just move on to exercises right after the first read. Guess what happened? I couldn’t do any exercises (could do first few).

I went back to the chapter, read again, and spent a hell lot of time on exercises. I had developed a few methods to attack the questions: go to the section related to the question and read again, take a 5min break and come back again, think while pacing etc. Helped me manage to get through.

Then came the second chapter. Man that has been a ride. This is the chapter I am currently doing, and taking my time. I have done the chapter at least 3 times, and I have notes that list out useful formulas, explanation of many sections, I have even used pencil to write short points in the book directly.

I think I have discovered similar ways of reading mathematics as shown by Shai Simonson. Now that he has formulated the process in a proper way, I will be able to optimize my reading and perhaps improvise to fit my style.

If you are reading mathematics, give this article a read. It is very good.




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