# Questions tagged [concept-motivation]

For questions how to motivate a mathematical concept (i.e., the motivation and examples of definitions, theorems, etc.) or general concepts of mathematics. Please use the [student-motivation] tag for questions about how to motivate students in general.

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### Should I be teaching point-slope formula to high school algebra students?

I'm student teaching this semester, and so far I'm loving it! Our next section in the book teaches point-slope formula, and my cooperating teacher (a 24-year veteran teacher) is convinced that point-...
266 views

### How to motivate 'Theory of Computation'?

I am teaching Theory of Computation for the first time soon, and need a short introduction and justification to motivate students who have only Introductory Programming behind them. I am torn between: ...
607 views

### How to get students in a under-graduate linear algebra course interested in determinants?

Before teaching the chapter on determinants in a linear-algebra course for beginning undergraduate students (mathematics and computer science, more specifically) I would like to give a small ...
756 views

### Too much motivation?

This is something that I felt like was difficult for me in some classes, especially lower division differential equations and linear algebra classes. I know professors want to motivate certain topics ...
237 views

### Lesson-planning: Teaching probability concepts via geometry

I am intending to teach a lesson covering some topic related to "Probability via Geometry" and, if possible, I would appreciate references or materials (or good ideas) that can help me. The target ...
221 views

### Teaching and motivating the use of Eigenvectors

I would like to know how to better demonstrate Eigenvectors. The texts that I have display the properties and methods to calculate them. There are plenty of great elementary examples to follow through ...
196 views

### Resources for Pell's equation

What is the best way to introduce Pell’s equation on a first elementary number theory course? Are there any practical applications of Pell’s equation? What are the really interesting questions about ...
175 views

### How to explain the topic of Fourier transform interactively?

This is a soft question . In the walk-in for the lectureship, I have decided to give demo lecture on the topic of Fourier transform. The principal of the institution ask me to take lecture ...
225 views

### Examples where roots are necessary for the solution

I currently write an article where I want to introduce roots. Thus I need to motivate them. Here I said, they can be used to find solutions of equations like $x^n=a$. Now I want to make some examples, ...
297 views

### Is multiplication by zero clear for and understood by K-3 students?

For K-3 students, perhaps it is not acceptable to introduce multiplication by zero as a property or definition. Instead, the child may think about multiplication as, e.g., repeated addition. Examples ...
1k views

### Analogies for mathematical induction

What are the most successful analogies that are used to teach the concept of mathematical induction? To clarify, I am not looking for a formal explanation of the principle of mathematical induction, ...
2k views

### How to teach Mathematical Induction mathematically?

I am exhausted of teaching Mathematical induction to my little brother. I have given him many examples, Domino effect, aligned shops of hot dogs etc and every time he says that he got it but when I ...
214 views

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### A more natural motivation for the appearance of generalized eigenvectors in linear system with repeated eigenvalue

When I teach constant coefficient linear differential equations, the usual guess of an exponential can be motivated because it is "approximately" a fixed point for the differentiation operator. The ...
1k views

### What is the motivation for characterizing second order linear PDEs as hyperbolic, elliptic, or parabolic?

I'm teaching an Intro to PDEs course (I'm an analyst, but PDEs are a bit outside my bailiwick) and I'm covering the basic examples: Heat, Wave, and Laplace. How should I move from these examples to ...
58k views

### Optimization problems that today's students might actually encounter?

Our students are not fencing in farm fields, cutting wires and folding them, or designing windows, so they are often uninspired by the optimization problems we give them. They seem like something that ...
8k views

### What are easy examples from daily life of constrained optimization?

A standard example of motivating constrained optimization are examples where the setup is described in a lot of lines, e.g., when you own a company and the company is making some products out of ...