Engage in thinking about mathematical ideas
Apply effective strategies of thinking to approach questions in your lives with insight and innovation
Think more effectively and imaginatively throughout your lives
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.
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.