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Effective Thinking Through Mathematics

The University of Texas at Austin via edX

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Overview

A wondrously romantic belief is that brilliant thinkers magically produce brilliant ideas: Einstein jostles his hair and relativity falls out. We can enjoy these fanciful visions of leaps of genius, but we should not be fooled into believing that they’re reality.

Brilliant innovators are brilliant because they practice habits of thinking that inevitably carry them step by step to works of genius. No magic and no leaps are involved.

Professor Starbird will discuss how habits of effective thinking and creativity can be taught and learned through puzzles and mathematics. Anyone who practices these habits of mind will inevitably create new insights, new ideas, and new solutions.

Syllabus

The whole course presents strategies of effective thinking that can make you more creative and more insightful. These overarching lessons are conveyed through fascinating mathematical themes.

Week 1 – An Introduction and Puzzles
This week provides an introduction to the course and the five elements of effective thinking. Then, students solve several puzzles using the five elements.

Weeks 2-3 – Number Contemplation
Students begin to explore the concept of number from basic to its infinite variety, and see how those insights flow from strategies of effective thinking.

Weeks 3-4 – Geometric Insights
Our visual world leads to beautiful insights, concrete and abstract, also illustrating methods of thinking that are applicable to your own life.

Taught by

Michael Starbird

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Reviews for edX's Effective Thinking Through Mathematics
4.5 Based on 12 reviews

  • 5 stars 67%
  • 4 stars 17%
  • 3 stars 17%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Life S
5.0 4 years ago
Life completed this course.
Effective thinking though mathematics is a course about increasing your ability to tackle new problems and understanding things you already know better. The course focuses on 4 main elements of effective thinking: understanding simple things deeply, making mistakes, raising questions and following the flow of ideas. Although this course has “mathematics” in the title, it is really about the process of thinking—math is just a convenient arena to teach these methods. You don’t need any particular math background to take this course and get a lot out of it, although be aware that most of the 9 we…
6 people found
this review helpful
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Daniil B
5.0 4 years ago
Daniil completed this course.
That was a first course that I've comleted. I strongly reccomend this course to whom who is interested in enforcing ability to crack manifestations of the World into the breaks that you can use to assemble each other manifestation (prognosing strenght). It is the most powerfull style of thinking that I know.

"How can I help you to improve your life through this course" That was a question rised by Michael Starbird in the beginning. He did this step by step, made brilliant examples, quizzes and of course pauses to give you ability to figure out by your own.

How can c…
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Best course ever. Professor Starbird is really superb instructor.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Thomas S
5.0 2 years ago
by Thomas completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This course is really good, it help us to have some methodology when you tackle on a difficult problem by following the 5 strategies of effective thinking.

The professor is really good and excited to teach people.

Unfortunately the course was really short to me, BTW the book Heart of Maths is a really good book to continue to use and learn the 5 strategies of effective thinking
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Sylvia A
4.0 7 months ago
by Sylvia completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
It's a very good course! We are learning to think mathematically through puzzle solving. It's a pity the course is not activated anymore.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Sanjay S
5.0 2 years ago
by Sanjay completed this course.
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Horace H
5.0 3 years ago
Horace completed this course.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Tonolmo T
3.0 4 years ago
by Tonolmo completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
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Michael Y
3.0 2 years ago
Michael completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Teresa T
4.0 2 years ago
Teresa completed this course.
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  • 1

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