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Published on 29 Jan 2007
I saw a video on youtube called "Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth" and felt like it needed a response from someone whose career is in math education. This is the perspective of one college professor.
And about the "standard algorithm" for multiplication where we write:
16 32 ___
Etc. A little thought leads to the realization that this really is just 32*16=(30+2)*16=30*16+2*16. Hence the "standard algorithm" is identical with this method of multiplication.
Oh, and interestingly, the "standard algorithm" isn't really standard after all. Talk to folks from other countries sometime and ask them to multiply and divide for you. Their algorithm may be quite different seeming from yours. In fact, of course, it's all really the same because mulitplication is truly only one well-defined operation. How you arrive at the answer may appear different, but in the end, at root, they are all the same.