Project Euler Task:
PART 1: This really has me battling something that I have to realize about myself. I have little patience! However, if I KNOW that I have the ability to accomplish a task & I feel its a worth while thing to do..or solve..or its going to help someone, I"m IN. I've thought this through. I have to admit, if I know that most genious folks (folks that I consider to be experts in their field) consider a problem UNSOLVABLE, I tend to think I would steer away from it. UNLESS the problem really negatively effected someone OR a community of people. Thats me!
-"It's the journey, not the destination" There is much to be said in allowing your brain to practice things.
-There were many occasions in human existence when people thought a problem was unsolvable, but then, the problem was solved...maybe not by the same person,,,but by the next generation or the next...but...the foundations were maybe laid originally by a scholar beginning to think outside the box....working on an "unsolvable equation"
-Its important for young people to feel a sense of community & responsiblity towards future generations of people. Working on problems that may seem unsolvable in our world, maybe will NOT be unsolvable in the future...in many cases because of research and technology available currently...This creates the building blocks for future solutions!
-in Math, we always say "show your work." ..& usually students get credit if some of the work is correct but maybe 1 step was wrong...which made the answer wrong... still was worth while & fantastically important to continue to work on!
-students may feel frustrated by NOT ever having an answer...but I think the right teaching method can create an expectation of the journey (not the answer) being really important!
Its funny...when I first read this task, I really thought I'd have more CONS...but the more I thought about it, the more I found something that I think would instill good habits in the kids by doing this!
Also, for me personally, I don't have enough patience. Its a constant stuggle! In our world, knowledge & answers to questions is very much at our fingertips. Most of us our trained these days to find the quickest way to an answer or problems' solutions. BUT, understanding MATH on just about every level, has to do with how each step in figuring out the problems relate to each other...why do you do this or that & realizing there are lots of wasy to figure something out.
Computers take the fastest route to an answer...like a GPS. But, the journey to the answers in Math is so much more important. But, how much time the journey takes can be overwhelming to me...and many others I think....which is why technology is wonderful....Using technology allows you to have more time to work on more problems. BUT- if you are using technology and not really understanding the MATH behind it, whats the point? In my opinion, using technology is best in reiterating the step by step HUMAN way...but if you never understood the HUMAN STEPS befor eyou let the technology take over, you are truly missing out!
PART 2: The popularity thing is so interesting to me. People like feeling that they can perhaps solve a problem thats considered UNSOLVABLE by others! Its like a competitive thing. ...like breaking a record of some kind. I'll tell you though, this really has me battling something that I have to realize about myself. I have little patience & I'm not always super competitive!
I think some healthy competition is always a good motivator...even things as simple as last year, class A got an average of 85% on this test...do you think you guys can beat that? ...OR having teams compete against each other to come up with different ways to solve the same problem. When a student feels they are unique, especially intellectually, thats HUGE!
Also, exercising your brain muscles is really important :)