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4

First, metacognition may sometimes actively interfere with task performance. Second, the costs of engaging in metacognitive strategies may under certain circumstances outweigh its benefits. Third, metacognitive judgments or feelings involving a negative self-evaluation may detract from psychological well-being.


1

It occurred to me in thinking about the ménage problem that one could reformulate it as a story about students and advisors attending an awards dinner, with the requirement that advisors and students sit alternately, with no student sitting next to their own advisor. One must stipulate that no student has multiple advisors attending the dinner and that no ...


-1

Agents and missions are a good choice for maximum pairing problems for bipartite graphs. Edge linking agent to a mission means that agent can carry out the mission, so there are no edges linking mission to mission or agent to agent. Agent can't do another agent, or we have an entirely different problem :)


2

My point of view on this is that it's all about whether progression in the subject gets more abstract or more concrete. Law and medicine are both concentrations of much larger and more broad fields. Medicine is a particular corner of biology and law is a particular corner of the intersection between logic and political science. The further one goes in these ...


0

I correspond somewhat to the profile invoked by the OP, having experienced difficulty with a part of the maths (and physics) in my bachelor's in Electronic Engineering. I think the problem lies not in the abstraction of mathematics, but in its expression. I reason and memorize verbally. At school, maths concepts are verbalized, which permits understanding by ...


2

Because math is about truth rather than consensus.


5

TL;DR: The problem with math is that it is layers of abstraction. You need some familiarity (not just bare understanding) with one layer before you can progress. Most students don’t realise this and thus become frustrated when they fail to understand something even though it is clearly defined. Many things have already been said, but I need to challenge your ...


3

Aspects of this answer may be specific to the US. I treat this as an empirical question about perceptions (i.e., what people think is more puzzling) than a question about what subject actually "is." I think three factors are particularly relevant. The first: A lot of people see math relatively early in life, while most people do not see law or ...


6

Sorry for one more answer... Math needs a special way of thinking, different from our everyday practice (and, to some degree from law and medicine). In everyday life, we often use similarities and analogies. If something is similar enough to an established truth, we accept it. To my understanding, the whole system of precedents in law is based on that kind ...


10

Using only my personal experience: I think it is indeed that mathematics as a science is entirely abstract, as Jens said in another answer. Both law and medicine are sciences that have a strong connection to real world events or items that everybody can relate to. In effect they deal with failures of humans and failures of their everyday interactions. That ...


7

I think a large part of this is that the media bombard us from an early age with the message that maths is boring and difficult. Neither of these things are true, the point is that the media industry is dominated by people with arts and humanities degrees, so they are just telling us that they found maths difficult and boring, because their interests lay ...


27

The perceived difficulty of abstract math is due to two factors: You learn math at school, but it is actually very different from what you do at university. In school you are applying rules to get some numerical result. And the rules are easily mapped to concepts you encounter in real life. This changes in university. Suddenly you work almost exclusively ...


17

Many good answers already, but here's one more thought: the bar in math is set much higher. When you're doing law or medicine or languages or whatever, there's a fairly broad spectrum of "OK". You don't need to know stuff perfectly, you can also arrive at acceptable solutions which are not ideal. You can also rely on understanding some things only ...


11

The standards in math are way higher because of supply and demand. Lawyers and doctors directly help people. We need lots of them. Mathematicians do some difficult to understand work that might possibly be useful to someone somewhere sometime. We need some mediocre lawyers and doctors just so that all the necessary legal and medical work in our society ...


37

Univariate calculus — e.g. integration (see also Reddit) — is when most students find math unfathomable and labyrinthine. Well, not really. Actually most students never reach this level of math, and most students who have difficulty with math have difficulty with much more basic math than this. Suppose, for example, that I tell you that a bedroom community ...


17

"Even overachievers — who ace high school calculus without studying — will eventually be puzzled or convoluted by math, like in undergraduate or graduate Analysis or Abstract Algebra. But why exactly is (abstract) math way knottier and thornier than law or medicine?" You have used the term "overachievers" to describe people who ace high ...


16

Ineffective teaching is absolutely part of it. Math is about understanding and problem-solving. Problem-solving is hard. And students who aren't already into math want it easier. So the teacher "helps" by showing them steps (me included!), and then they aren't really learning as much. K-6 teachers teach elementary school because they love kids (...


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