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Are computers causing us to produce stupid physicists?

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

An interesting post over at the Wolfram blog asks whether the use of computer software such as Mathematica contributes to the (perceived) decline in standards in the mathematical abilities of students. It’s an interesting question, and one that has been asked for almost as long as programs such as Mathematica have been used in educating new students.

On the face of it, there’s much to recommend the question. After all, we all know older mathematicians or physicists who can apparently solve hideously complicated problems in their heads. Since this is a skill that younger mathematicians/physicists appear to lack, is it not reasonable to suspect that computers play some part in this?

Well, no. The post I linked to reflects my views on the subject quite closely and is well worth a read if this sort of thing is of interest to you.

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