Understanding & Creating Proofs
Last Update: 6 October 2010
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3 Writing Tasks
Read the following story & answer the questions:
John went to a restaurant for dinner.
He ordered a steak.
When he was finished, he paid the bill & left.
Q1: Who is the main character?
Q2: Did he eat dinner?
easy & straightforward
Write a brief e-mail message (4–5 sentences) about what you did on vacation.
easy; but requires a bit of thinking
Write a beautiful, original poem about your favorite thing. It must rhyme. If it is publishable, it will make you famous.
hard; lots of pressure on you
3 Tasks of Language Ability
Understanding (listening, reading)
Relatively easy (with practice)
Generation (speaking, writing)
Much more difficult
Creative language use (writing creative prose, poetry)
3 Tasks of Proof Ability ("Mathematical Maturity")
Understanding (& verifying) proofs
But there are algorithms & heuristics
Creating new proofs
Beyond our scope!
Copyright © 2008–2010 by
William J. Rapaport