Waste less time on Facebook — follow Brilliant.

A Waste of 20 Minutes

The American Mathematical Monthly featured an article in January 2014, which reads as such:

"You spend 20 minutes telling them how wonderful it all is."
I'm sorry. It is wonderful how we can get around both the vertical line rule and the horizontal line rule
how the curve can flower, spiral, and cross itself again and again
how we can now make any pretty picture we want. Yes, it is all very wonderful but okay, I promise, I won't ever again waste 20 minutes.
And thank you for letting me in on the big secret, how to get through the syllabus: By not telling them how wonderful it all is.
- Submitted by Marion Cohen

In support of teachers around the world, what is a wonderful fact that your teacher has shared with you (instead of rushing through the syllabus)?

For me, it was seeing a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem when I was really young. I was amazed at how "it magically fit", and was surprised that there could be an equation like \( a^2 + b^2 = c^2 \).

Note by Calvin Lin
3 years, 8 months ago

No vote yet
1 vote


Sort by:

Top Newest

Thank you for this wonderful article :) i really wished my teachers have shared with me more fun facts and beautiful math when I was younger... Sigh... Happy Melodies · 3 years, 8 months ago

Log in to reply

In my school, I plan to set up a maths club where it entails different types of maths from different degrees such as looking into the Monty Hall Problem and different proofs such as this and dealing with the mathematical side of card tricks. Victor Song · 3 years, 8 months ago

Log in to reply

@Victor Song That's awesome. We should start collecting ideas here or on another thread for starting math clubs. Silas Hundt Staff · 3 years, 8 months ago

Log in to reply

My junior-year high school physics teacher proof of Torricelli equation. He was the only one among all my teachers that actually explained where things came from.

\[V_{F} ^2 = V_{O} ^2 + 2 a \Delta S\] Guilherme Dela Corte · 3 years, 8 months ago

Log in to reply


Problem Loading...

Note Loading...

Set Loading...