TED: Teaching math
A little while ago, I voiced my desperation about teaching stats to computer scientists. Or rather the problems of framing this so they would find it interesting.
I went with some problem descriptions and trying to reduce stats to "figuring out what is going on" rather than arithmetics. I don't think I nailed it that well, but at least I tried.
This TED talk is quite relevant to this:
Math is not arithmetic, but ways of reasoning about the world in a quantitative way.
The introduction to Modern Heuristics, that describes that without a context getting you thinking about the right models, most people cannot solve rather elementary math problems. Not even math professors. Math is about formulating the models, identifying the problems, it is not about doing equations.
I wish I was better at teaching this.
The arithmetic (or in general most of the equation manipulation) is something computers do better. Let's focus on modeling the world.