The free online course “Introduction to Mathematical Thinking” can help you develop a valuable mental ability – a powerful way of thinking that our ancestors have developed over thousands of years.

About the course

Mathematical thinking is not the same as doing mathematics – at least not as mathematics is typically presented in our school system. School maths typically focuses on learning procedures to solve highly stereotyped problems. Professional mathematicians think in a certain way to solve real problems, problems that can arise from the everyday world, or from science, or from within mathematics itself. The key to success in school maths is to learn to think inside the box. In contrast, a key feature of mathematical thinking is thinking outside the box – a valuable ability in today’s world. This course helps to develop that crucial way of thinking.

What you’ll learn:

  • Introductory material
  • Analysis of language – the logical combinators
  • Analysis of language – implication
  • Analysis of language – equivalence
  • Analysis of language – quantifiers
  • Working with quantifiers
  • Proofs
  • Proofs involving quantifiers
  • Elements of number theory
  • Beginning real analysis

Starting date: 14 February 2015

Length: 10 weeks

Language: English

Instructor: Dr. Keith Devlin

Institution: Stanford University