Do you think visually/spatially or analytically? When you’re thinking about math problems, do you see a picture? Is your mathematical universe founded more on geometry or on arithmetic/algebra/algorithms? Test case: are Al-Khwarizmi’s geometrical demonstrations enlightening or confusing to you? Studies show different people excelling in different kinds of reasoning. There are even gender differences, complicating the question “Where are the women?”

### The Ancient Roots of Modern Mathematics

This blog accompanies the short documentary film "Plimpton 322: The Ancient Roots of Modern Mathematics” and will host a discussion of issues arising from the film. It’s for Professor Laurence Kirby’s students at Baruch College, and anyone else interested.-
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Yes I see a picture. I believe everyone should see a picture from every math problem because not only does it simplify the problem by getting rid of all the fluff, but it makes the problem clear. A diagram is much easier to read than a sentence giving information. The diagram gives necessary information to solve the problem efficiently. By nature we are visual beings that are attracted by color and moving images, it is typical that many people are more picture orientated.

I am a visual learner so, whenever I come across a math problem (especially for geometry) I try to make a picture out of what is being described to me to organize al the information. I think that my matheatical universe is founded on a combination of geometry and arithmetic/algebra/algorithms, leaning more towards the first one. I like to picture everything thing then disect it by using something like algebra to get a concete answer. At first Al-Khwarizmi’s geometrical demonstrations were very confusing to me but then as I understood what he was trying to do it become very enlightening to me. It made more sense then just completeing the square as we do nowadays.

I think visual representations of math problems are much easier to understand than words. Usually when we come across a problem, we try to simplify it as much as possible; visuals do a great job in this. Especially for angles and areas, seeing a picture of what is being described can help tremendously. In addition, when there is a diagram, our brains can register all the information at once rather than getting through the problems line by line. I think this helps because people naturally like to see the big picture and work with problems as a whole.

I agree with the previous comments. Most of the people tend to understand better with pictures than with words only. Even as kids, we learn to recognize things by seeing the picture or the actual object. Personally, Sometimes is easier for me to understand a problem algebraic, rather than visual, sometimes is vice verse, it all depends on the type of mathematical problem.

I believe that for better understanding of the problem and in order to find the most sufficient way to solve the problem, a person should both have geometrical and algebraic or analytical perception of the problem. In this sense, Al-Khwarizmi’s geometrical demonstrations were enlightening and helpful for me and broaden my outlook on algebra. Al-Khwarizmi’s technique helped me to see a completely new geometrical aspect of quadratic and cubic formulas and to better understand the nature of these algebraic formulas. So, geometry can enrich a person’s algebraic or analytical view on a math problem, and vice verse.

I believe that visual is the best way to understand mathematics. It’s easier to understand a problem if we draw an image because it’s easier for most human kinds to learn through images. If we observe a baby, they’re attracted to visual and brigth images and they teach them forms such as (triangles, rectangles, squares) by pictures and even tangible objects. They learn it and touch it to get a better understanding. It’s the same way when we go to college and learn how to be an accountant, but getting a job in the field of accounting which is the picture that helps understanding even more the field of study.

I personally think that visual representations are the best way to understand mathematical problems especially geometry. When I solve the problem it is much easier for me to draw the picture first and than analyze the task and find the solution. In the beginning Al-Khwarizmi’s geometrical demonstrations seemed to be a little bit confusing, but later on it really helped me to solve the task.

Math is a language with it’s own vocabulary of circles, numbers,squares,fractions and angles so naturally j prefer the visual aspect of problem solving. Visually these problems transcend the language barrier so problems can be solved on an international scale, without the sometime difficulty incurred by a linguistic barrier.

When I come across a mathematical problem , I draw it out as I am a visual learner

With the help of pictures, graphs, or other visual aides it helps me to better understand the material.Al Khwarizmi’s geometrical demonstrations were a bit unclear to me in the beginning . However going over many problems has made me understand it better and solve the equations comfortably.

Men and women are also said to have distinct learning styles. Historically, boys and men have long excelled in spatial ability tests over girls and women. This is said to be due to the hunter-gatherer theory, predicting that men excel in spatial abilities such as navigation, map reading and mental rotations because survival depended on the ability to hunt,or finding directions. Nontheles we do see plenty of visual-spatial women who pursue careers as mathematicians, pilots, artists, musicians and designers.

When I think of math, it differs according to the problem. When I see a polynomial I think algebraicly, but I guess Al-Kwarizmi is complcated for me. I do not enjoy geometry much even though it makes sense when you see them. But using numbers to get the answer makes more sense. Algebra has proofs and numbers to see it be correct, geometry seems abstract.