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How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class? 823

Posted by timothy
from the napkins-and-a-digital-camera dept.
AdmiralXyz writes "I'm a university student, and I like to take notes on my (non-tablet) computer whenever possible, so it's easier to sort, categorize, and search through them later. Trouble is, I'm going into higher and higher math classes, and typing "f_X(x) = integral(-infinity, infinity, f(x,y) dy)" just isn't cutting it anymore: I need a way to get real-looking equations into my notes. I'm not particular about the details, the only requirement is that I need to keep up with the lecture, so it has to be fast, fast, fast. Straight LaTeX is way too slow, and Microsoft's Equation Editor isn't even worth mentioning. The platform is not a concern (I'm on a MacBook Pro and can run either Windows or Ubuntu in a virtual box if need be), but the less of a hit to battery life, the better. I've looked at several dedicated equation editing programs, but none of them, or their reviews, make any mention of speed. I've even thought about investing in a low-end Wacom tablet (does anyone know if there are ultra-cheap graphics tablets designed for non-artists?), but I figured I'd see if anyone at Slashdot has a better solution."
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How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?

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  • Old school (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darth Maul (19860) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:39PM (#29915883) Homepage

    Keep it simple - pen and paper.

  • Re:pencil/paper (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:41PM (#29915941)
    Pencil/paper and transcription. That way the knowlage is refreshed after the lecture and you hve a better chance of correcting what you took down if it was initially taken down in error because the content is fresh in your mind.
  • Pen, paper, TeX. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zunger (17731) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:44PM (#29915991)

    I had this issue for years. Ultimately I never found anything within a factor of 5 for speed of simple pen and paper. The next best thing was LaTeX; with practice you can type that remarkably fast. (Especially if you pre-define macros relevant to whatever you're doing) The GUI-based solutions uniformly stank.

    I've never found any system for digitizing handwritten equations; for a long time, my hope was that such software (preferably with LaTeX output) and a tablet would be a good solution. But the market for such things is small, and a few minutes of design work convinced me that implementing it was a lot more trouble than it would ever be worth.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:47PM (#29916061)

    Create keyboard macros for all your math stuff.

    CONTROL + SHIFT + F would be
      f() [LEFT ARROW to put your cursor between the parenthesis]

    You're in college, so I'm sure you can figure it out...

  • Re:Old school (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BigHungryJoe (737554) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:48PM (#29916063) Homepage

    aren't math people supposed to use pencil?

  • Re:LyX (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Volante3192 (953645) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:51PM (#29916147)

    'Steep learning curve' goes both ways.

    I'm more familiar with it being used in the sense as it refers to the curve you have to climb, hence a 'steep' learning curve has you start on ground level and then climb the face of El Capitan to get to the top. Wiki says it started your way, but current usage is more often the way I see it.

    Maybe we should just drop the saying all together and stick with "easy to learn" and "complex to learn"?

  • Re:LyX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Steve Franklin (142698) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:53PM (#29916183) Homepage Journal

    Yes, indeed. Actually, it makes perfect sense. "Steep" is a metaphor based on climbing a hill, where the steeper it is the harder it is to get to the top. Does this really escape some folks?

  • Re:LyX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:00PM (#29916319) Journal

    Even though we both have similar concepts of what the learning curve is referring to, I think the GP's interpretation is backwards, at least from a user interface design perspective. If the learning curve is steep, that means you learn a lot at the very beginning, which means that you have to learn a lot just to get started. Otherwise, you wouldn't have bothered to learn all that stuff up front. Thus, a steep learning curve means that the UI is relatively hard to learn, even if it doesn't take you a huge amount of time.

    The ideal learning curve for software is actually fairly linear; the amount you learn at the beginning should be minimal because the UI should be discoverable enough and familiar enough (relative to other software) that you don't need to learn anything of substance to start using it at a basic level. As you get into it more, you should continue to discover things that make your life easier.

    Just my $0.02.

  • Re:pencil/paper (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zolltron (863074) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:26PM (#29916765)

    Absolutely! I have students that take notes on computer, and I think it's a terrible idea. First there is the problem of equations. In the class I teach we introduce a lot of symbols, so even if you have a fast system you would have to find the symbols in a big list. By the time you do, you're probably behind.

    Second, note taking is a tool which helps you learn the material better. Transcribing the notes later helps significantly more, because now you get to revisit the material with fresh eyes. Something that may have seemed obvious initially may seem less so when you transcribe them. Now you can go to the next lecture an ask questions from the previous class. (As a professor, I'm *very* impressed when students do this, because it proves to me that they did something other than drink beer between the end of the last class and the beginning of the next.)

    Finally taking notes on a computer provides you with many distractions. I know lots of students who claim "I don't get distracted from using a computer", but then my grader or another student informs me the were surfing the web, reading email, IMing, etc. Save yourself from having to avoid these and just use paper.

  • Re:LyX (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:29PM (#29916805) Journal

    I've found that, assuming your professor is okay with it, bringing a digital camera with a good zoom lens and shooting pictures of the board as the professor writes on it is the fastest way to take notes. We do this in meetings at work for the same reason. Alternatively, professors who use electronic slides can provide a copy of them electronically, removing the need to waste a lot of the students' time hand-writing copies of the same content unnecessarily. We don't live in ancient times; we aren't training scribes here.

  • Re:Tex Faster (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Dirk Ruffly (1487525) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:32PM (#29916843)

    Granted, I'm old school. But with a Ph.D. in EE, I've copied a boatload of equations from boards, onto boards, into papers, ad nauseum. I've tried every equation editor out there (this might be a slight exaggeration) and I have to agree that TeX is the best solution. TeX takes some learning, and that's by no means a trivial effort. The most powerful tools we have (like, say, language) take effort to master but the payoff is grand. I've found that when writing papers, and especially when I was writing my dissertation, that equation entry using TeX was almost as fast as I could write with pen and paper and in some cases a bit faster thanks to macros.

    The real issue for the original poster, however, is taking notes in class. I have to agree with other replies here: use a notebook and a pen (or pencil, whichever suits you) and scribble your notes. Then transcribe later. Effectively, you will do this later anyway in the process of reviewing your notes and, hopefully, learning from them.

    Finally, for my money, take the absolute minimum notes you can get away with. Taking notes during class splits your attention between writing and listening to the lecture. Depending on the instructor, that can get you behind the curve very quickly. I have always found that trying to stay a chapter ahead in the text, which I can do at my own pace and in my own time, was the best way to learn from a knowledgeable teacher. That way you can just listen, follow along, reinforce what you've been working on at your own pace, and when the occasional gem of wisdom comes along (or one of your misconceptions is corrected) you can scribble a few words that will jog your memory later.

    But that's just me. YMMV.

    Good luck in your studies!


  • Stop Taking Notes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:32PM (#29916849) Journal

    [This is a non-answer to your question. But it's a good non-answer if my success and student and teacher is any measure.]

    Don't take notes in class. Seriously. I've forbidden note taking in some of my classes. I hand out copies of material not in the book. But when I lecture, I do so with the intention that what I say be listened and paid attention to. If someone's trying to write what I say, their attention and working memory is so divided that they can't be picking up much of anything.

    This is especially true for maths. Of what purpose is it for you to have to watch someone write out equations? Of what purpose to write them down at the same time? Is the content of so little importance that they can waste their time and yours with speed writing exercises? The writing/rewriting is important for memory. That being so, why tax the memory with the process, reducing the result?

    Ask your instructors for copies of their class notes. Explain why. If they feel it's somehow cheating, ask to record their lecture. If they're not saying the equations out loud, record in video. Then whether paper copies, audio or video, transcribe. More than once if need be. Work with them on this. It'll be to everyone's benefit. If they can't believe that, prove it by recording a class with them writing stuff as usual and people copying, and calculate how much more time it takes for them to write, you to write, you to ask what that wiggly thing is, them to tell you, them to write, them to ask if everyone is caught up, on and on; vs. hand out a paper copy, them lecture, you listen (and add just tiny clarifications if necessary on their notes).

    I really am serious about this, and pushing this agenda has made me a favorite of students (who get better grades; I've tracked that too) but gotten me all kids of grief from other instructors. They see the process as one of confrontation, forcing students to do things a certain way and any other is 'cheating', or could be used for cheating, and frankly very little rational explanations are forthcoming. I picked it up from instructors who were more concerned their students learn than jump through hoops like speed writing as the sole means to collect material covered in class. I hated hoops as a student and refused to use them as a teacher. Instructors that can't get away from hoops are using them as a crutch. Help them learn to do better.

  • 1968? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:33PM (#29916859) Homepage Journal

    I once took a class in AI in which the professor showed us a film from the late 1960's that demonstrated just such a tool. You wrote an equation in math notation with a light-pen (or something similar) on to a screen, and it translated your marks (pen movements) into an internal representation and then displayed a formatted version on the screen. (Professor Blackwell, I think was his name, and he worked on part of that project before teaching.)

    If it could be done for a research project in the late 60's, then surely it's still technically possible and could probably do better. It's amazing that much of the UI technology we take for granted now existed in the 60's (as expensive research projects). Graphical GUI's, dragging, mice, light-pens, stroke character recognition, etc. Sutherland's great work included. Much of it was funded by the military for use in radar analysis, interactive flight planning, etc. Xerox extended these by using the overlapping paper metaphor in the 70's.

  • Re:pencil/paper (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:33PM (#29916863) Journal

    Another problem with handwritten notes is that many people experience serious hand cramping after writing continuously for an hour. I could type for a week without getting tired; you don't have to tightly grip a keyboard. I stopped writing stuff by hand entirely back in junior high, with the exception of a couple of teachers who didn't like typed stuff. Handwriting is just too physically draining for what you get out of it. Pen and paper are for *short* notes to myself, marking up copy, etc. Everything else is 1s and 0s.

  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:37PM (#29916943)

    you'll have recreated the fabulous 2-buck pen-and-paper experience. Go you!

    The question I don't understand is WHY. The quoted statement outline the end result pretty clearly. I understand slashdot loves to use fancy technology to solve simple problems, but sometimes simpler is better. I already have a HUGE set of properly formatted equations all nicely written out, it's called the Book.

    Note taking, for me, was to summarize what the teacher said, in MY words so that I could understand it later. I just learn by writing it down, there were some classes that I never kept the notes. I'd grab what ever scratch paper was by the printers, write on it, and toss it after class. (Statics. F=0, how hard is it?). I still have quite a few of both textbooks AND notes for a class. I have the hard equations and then I have how I learned it. Heaven forbid ever become an engineer, where the teacher is drawing simply supported beams on the board, the teacher is drawing feedback control systems.

    Anything worth writing is worth writing once. If someone already wrote it in the text book. Then that is good enough for me. In some classes we'd photocopy the problems out of the book, cut them out and paste them on the homework. It was better looking than my drawing and clearer than my handwriting... and I can guarantee I never made any transcribing errors.

    Instantly digitized notes seem like they'd be great for classes where the content will never exist again outside of that class. Philosophy debates, taking notes as a reporter, etc. You're going to spend more of your time trying to figure out how to make that '2' go subscript of that '4' in the numerator with the summation block than you will learning the content. Put down the computer. Grab a good mechanical pencil and a $.50 notebook from walmart and quit worrying about it.

    If you HAVE to have a digital copy. Take notes on something that can easily be separated into individual sheets (3 ring binder and 8x11s with 3 holes). When the semester is over take it to any decent multifunction machine, put it in the top and let it scan everything for you.

  • Re:LyX (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:43PM (#29917025)

    He/she/it's not arguing the common usage of the phrase.

    He/she/it's saying that if you graph ability on the y axis and time on the x axis, then the curve of something that is hard to learn is shallow.

    Of course he/she/it completely misses the point that all you need to do is put time on the y axis and ability on the x axis to make the expression match the graph.

  • Re:pencil/paper (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pvt_Ryan (1102363) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:17PM (#29917519)
    it's called practice. For the first few weeks of lifting weights I got tired at 30 reps 50Kg after a while though i didnt start to tire until 30 reps of 60Kg.
  • by bockelboy (824282) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:19PM (#29917549)

    I got my PhD in math and took a few grad-level physics class since.

    TeX-based notes in many math classes is very doable. I got to the point during my math degree that I could type equations way faster than the professor could write in the board. I still type faster than I write on the board when I teach. Functional analysis and algebra were the best for typewritten notes; numerical analysis was the worst due to the number of matrices.

    TeX-based notes in a physics class (especially less theoretical ones) is a slow-moving disaster. Visualization and diagrams (at least for me) are way more important in physics than they were for my math classes.

  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wigaloo (897600) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:21PM (#29917589)
    I used to hand out notes for my lectures, but then stopped doing it. Students fall asleep in class if there is no physical activity, and the act of note-taking is very important for keeping the brain engaged -- particularly in a mathematical class. When I first started at the University I was very idealistic and thought I was going to change the way teaching was done. The hard lesson was that there is a reason why professors use chalk and blackboard. It works.
  • Re:LyX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mikkeles (698461) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:21PM (#29917595)

    The muscle memory of (hand)writing notes (which are not necessarily verbatum copies of the presentation) is an excellant aid to learning.

    In addition, it helps one learn how to filtre out the less relevant part of copious information; that is, to recognise what's important.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:23PM (#29917621)

    I realise this was meant as a joke, but with a bunch of good editor macros (emacs/vim to the rescue) you can type equations in LaTeX extremely quickly. I took class notes for four years during my studies (splitting the work with others, collecting corrections from other students etc.), and towards the end was more than twice as fast as the professor usually wrote on the blackboard.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:31PM (#29917723) Journal


    If find that the process of writing down class notes is what (a) keeps my mind focused on the lecture and (b) aids in review when I have the notes in _my_ order with my side notes. I've taken classes lately with professors using your method (their notes, sometimes with blanks to simplify class participation) - and it didn't "stick." Sure, I did well, but it was all short term memory - in a year the knowledge was nearly as foreign as if I hadn't taken it.

    It sounds more like you prefer to provide more material than normally covered, and that's fine. I'd prefer to cover a little less and have it stick with me. As for recording notes and recopying later - I'll admit I'm a bad student. My time is limited and the hour I spend in a lecture is the hour I devote to that material - I don't want to spend an extra 1-2 hours relistening to a lecture - it wastes my time if I've done the in-class routinge correctly. Sample problems (aka homework) cements the lesson and identifies areas I don't understand so I can review them at the next opportunity.

    What really cements the knowledge are the tests where I get to use a formula/summary sheet (preferably multiple for later, cumulative exams). I have notes from a decade ago that I use regularly in my office because I copied carefully in class, then when studying for the exams prepared "summary" sheets. Those sheets are - to this day - my professional references. A quick glance for the right formula, back to the notes I took (with my side points) if it's been a while, and into the textbook if I need to really brush up or have to expand on a subject.

    Of course, this is primarily for engineering; math can be different, as can other topics.

  • Re:Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sycodon (149926) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:33PM (#29917735)


    Well, the one thing that always bugged me about math classes is that the practical aspects were few and far between. It was like doing nothing in English except diagram sentences, conjugate verbs, etc.

    Guess that's why I'm a programmer. I can make my own rules.

  • Re:pencil/paper (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jeremyp (130771) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:54PM (#29917961) Homepage Journal

    Handwriting is just too physically draining for what you get out of it. Pen and paper are for *short* notes to myself, marking up copy, etc. Everything else is 1s and 0s.

    For fuck's sake. What do you think we used to do in olden days before there were laptop computers? I went through college, not only writing my notes in lectures with my bare hands but also copying them out neatly later with my bare hands.

    There's this amazing thing with muscles, if you use them they get stronger.

  • Re:LyX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ahnteis (746045) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @07:03PM (#29918041)

    AND when you copy those onto your computer later, you'll be even MORE likely to remember it.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @07:26PM (#29918245)

    I would drop any class you did that in and ensure that I reward you with a terrible recommendation and report, if I was your dean I would fire you. I learn best by writing what is said, take away my ability to write and I won't learn it all. Your policy is beyond stupid because everyone learns differently. By forcing everyone to learn the way you learn, or the way you believe people should learn, you are guaranteeing that a minority of your classes won't learn anything. You should rethink your insistence that you know how to learn better than the students you are teaching because not only is your policy downright discriminatory for those with learning disorders such as dyslexia, but your arrogant belief that you know better demonstrates a superiority complex that's prevalent in higher education and a first order indicator of a bad teacher.

  • (Score:3, Insightful)

    by niiler (716140) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @07:41PM (#29918393) Journal

    My physics class turns in their labs digitally. Some of them have really struggled trying to insert equations. Some of them had scanned their notes and then cropped various equations out. Some had tried building equations via manual formatting supplemented via underlining and super/subscripting. To a person, they seem to hate MS Office's equation editor as it takes too long to point and click your way through (and if there's another way with their editor, enlighten me).

    Yesterday, I popped up OpenOffice's equation editor (ALT-I-O-F -> for ALT-Insert-Object-Formula) and started typing. As we were doing parallel and series circuits, I took an equation from the recent lab: R_net = 1 over { 1 over R_1 + 1 over R_2} + R_3. Almost to a person, they were agog that I could type it as fast as I could write it on the board. I did suggest alternates such as MathType, MathML, and LaTeX, but I don't think they heard me after that.

    While I am able to quickly produce copious amounts of equations using's editor, the usual disclaimer applies: use what works for you.

  • Re:Question (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @07:45PM (#29918435)

    You're right, but sometimes graphs and other pictures are cumbersome to draw. Handing out partially completed notes makes things much easier on the students, especially in classes that require a lot of diagrams (physics, circuits, etc).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:03PM (#29918591)

    An Apple Newton. It has a steep/shallow (delete as appropriate) learning curve!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:03PM (#29918603)

    Well, as both a teacher AND a student (at the same time), I have to disagree with you strongly.

    Research has shown that people who just take copies of the class notes and highlight them, and/or just highlight information in the book, do MUCH POORER than those who take notes. Putting what the lecturer says in your own words is an absorption method; it forces the information to pass thru iconic memory into short-term memory, and be REHEARSED in short-term memory so it has a flying chance of making it into long-term memory. Which is where you want it to be. It has nothing to do with speed-writing exercises, nor with distraction. It has to be absorbed.

    The ones you speak of, who get the better grades -- if you allowed everyone to take notes, they would be the ones who would get the better grades anyway. They like the rule, because they get less bored. I sympathize with them -- I'm taking several classes right now where I am WAY above the curve, and I get bored with the discussion and repetition. But what you are doing is hurting the next tier of students -- those who could do well, if they could take notes and the pace was a little slower. And everyone below that, who really NEED the notes and slower pace, and explanations, to do at all well.

    I teach computer science; these are hard concepts, that have to be come at several ways before everyone gets the idea. We take as much time as necessary to make sure that everyone gets the critical concepts. Someone is bored? I give him some extra-credit assignments to keep him busy.

    Students learn in different ways. No one is saying that taking notes should be the "sole means to collect material covered in class", but that happens to be a means that works best for a rather large number of students. (If it didn't, students wouldn't do it, or want to). For you to discourage it, or outright outlaw it, is irresponsible. "More concerned about learning"? Those instructors are more concerned with not having to explain themselves to students who aren't getting the concepts. If a student is asking "what's that squiggly thing", it's because they don't understand the concept -- not because it's necessary to take the notes.

  • by gbutler69 (910166) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:05PM (#29918637) Homepage
    Why are you taking notes in Math class? Personally, I think it is better to just pay close attention to the lecture and absorb all of what is being said and focus on thinking about it and understanding it. Textbooks (and or other references) will have better "Notes" anyway. I always did this in every Math class I took (except from that which I taught myself and CLEPed out of): Calc I-II-III, Linear Algebra 1 & 2, Discrete Math 1 & 2, Topology, etc. I always got an "A". I never took a single note. That doesn't mean I didn't study or have to work. I focused my time in class in paying attention to what the instructor/professor was saying and doing rather than writing. Then, I went home, read the book/chapters in detail and worked through the exercises and problems diligently. Sometimes it was easy, sometimes I was up all night.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:26PM (#29918911)

    I teach electrical engineering and have been watching this in class. The only students who successfully take notes using the computer have tablet computers and use the stylus. One student I talked to about this says he is really happy with it and would be completely paperless if the professors didn't insist in turning in homework on paper.

  • Re:LyX (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jbengt (874751) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:01PM (#29919251)
    The learning curve has amount of time to make a single widget in the Y axis, and number of widgets made in the X axis.
    It is good when that curve is steep, because that means improvement is fast. Even so, a learning curve that starts high is not that good, because it means you start off too slow,.
    Either way, the important thing is that the curve drops to a small length of time per widget at the end. That's why GUIs are praised by those who "don't want to spend all their time learning esoteric commands" and disparaged by those who already know how to get things done without "being slowed down by moving hands back and forth between keyboard and mouse".
  • by yellowstone (62484) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:15PM (#29919345) Homepage Journal
    I already have a HUGE set of properly formatted equations all nicely written out, it's called the Book.

    1) You never had an instructor talk about something not in the text?

    2) Personally, I find taking notes during lecture (or reading a text!) helps me retain the information, even if I already have my own record of what's being discussed.

  • by dschmit1 (1353767) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:33PM (#29919943) Journal
    I think many people miss the point of the OP. This teacher wishes to give his/her students the maximum amount of exposure to the material. Verbally with lecture, visually with preprinted notes, and tactically with the, hopefully recommended, practice practice practice of the material. OP might have neglected to say this in the post, but that's the accepted practice of teaching these days. And if OP is not doing this, then OP should start immediately before I start having the same complaints.
  • Re:LyX (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thinboy00 (1190815) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [00yobniht]> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:25PM (#29920273) Journal

    Time is never^H^H *looks around suspiciously* rarely on the y-axis.

  • by gilroy (155262) on Friday October 30, 2009 @12:22AM (#29920583) Homepage Journal

    Wow. I hope I am making the mistake of responding to a troll, because if you genuinely believe what you wrote, you are a sad sad person. People with dyslexia aren't "slow" and they certainly aren't what you wanted to imply, which is stupid. They have a neurological condition to affects their ability to visually process information -- a condition which, in fact, they can overcome by training themselves to compensate. I teach, and I have taught dyslexics as well as non-dyslexics. You know which group was in fact smarter on average? Neither ... because it's not about "smart".

    The reason ignorant people think dyslexics are "slow" is that the ignorant people have one model of learning and when someone fails to follow it, they conclude that person is flawed. But in fact, when given the freedom to adapt their learning styles to their unique demands, dyslexics (and many other supposedly "slow" students) prove themselves as capable, mentally, as so-called normal people. In fact one thing educators have learned -- which apparently hasn't filtered down to your level yet -- is that there is a nearly infinite variety of learning styles and that none of them is "right".

    As for the GPP, I understand why the prof might recommend that his students not take notes. I think it's misguided but his experience leads him to that conclusion and who am I to gainsay it? But to forbid students from attempting to learn in the style they've developed -- a style, by the way, which seems in no way to detract from anyone choosing to do it the prof's way -- is simply arrogant and asinine. Indeed, it's about as dumb as an obsession with "covering material" rather than, say, comprehension of same.

    And by the way, your "insight"

    You're upset because you learn one way and would rather have instructors doing that, ensuring that only a minority do well... Wait a second, that's just what you said! Holy shit, the street goes both ways! You're right in that everyone learns different. Why couldn't you have fully applied that thought to your statements?

    is so transparently bogus it's hardly worth mentioning. The parent post was not attempting to inflict a particular learning style on anyone; it was questioning why the original prof saw fit to do so. My taking notes in no way forces you to take notes -- but the prof banning notes most certainly imposes his preferred learning style on me. Despite that wonderful rhetorical trick you think you pulled, there is simply no equivalence in the two stands.

  • Re:LyX (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eskarel (565631) on Friday October 30, 2009 @12:33AM (#29920627)

    That is entirely dependent on the individual and their learning style.

    Some people do learn that way, some people do not, some people learn better by reading, or speaking or listening, or teaching others. Back in high school I used to program my calculator to do the problems on the homework and while I couldn't use those programs in class, explaining how to do something to the calculator generally gave me a pretty good understanding of it myself.

  • Re:LyX (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MR.Mic (937158) on Friday October 30, 2009 @06:51AM (#29922007)

    I would imagine the mirror slap and shutter sounds of a DSLR will become distracting in a classroom setting.

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.