Effective Thinking Through Mathematics

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9/10 stars
based on  19 reviews
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Cost FREE
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Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • On demand

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
15942 reviews

Course Description

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.

Reviews 9/10 stars
19 Reviews for Effective Thinking Through Mathematics

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Michael (Mickey) Hegarty profile image
Michael (Mickey) Hegarty profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
3 years, 1 month ago
My early education experience with math was unsatisfactory. So I am taking courses such as this one to help me, as Professor Starbird would say "understand simple things deeply." The course will often seem that it is burdened with videos, but FWIW once I finished I believe that the Professor's course has method in its madness. Bottom line, if you want to get the basics right this is the place to start. After this I would take Coursera's Stanford Mathematical Thinking, then Coursera's Michigan Model Thinking. That's the reverse order from mine and I believe that it will make your experience and performance better than mine. This is a great basic math thinking course.
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Tobias Scheuerer profile image
Tobias Scheuerer profile image

Tobias Scheuerer

10/10 starsCompleted
4 months ago
I was always bad at math in school and as a result hated it for a long time. But a few years ago I started to give math another chance. So I took this course and was absolutely fascinated. This course gave me a new perspective about thinking in general, not only about math problems, but for almost every intellectual challenge I face. During the course i have become confident in my ability to solve unknown problems. I recommend it for everybody and especially to those who hated math in school as I did. You will get a new perspective about the subject!
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Ambuj Mittal profile image
Ambuj Mittal profile image

Ambuj Mittal

9/10 starsCompleted
5 months, 1 week ago
The syllabus covered was good. Although the instructor teaches it at a really slow speed. Good for beginners but for the rest, solve the problem and move on!
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Vipin Kumar profile image
Vipin Kumar profile image

Vipin Kumar

10/10 starsCompleted
7 months, 1 week ago
This course is great for everybody, doesn't matter if you don't like math or you are from a field that is not related to math. Take an advice from me take this course. This course can potentially change your life, mainly though how you can tackle any problem you will be facing in your lifetime or career.
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Amar Doshi profile image
Amar Doshi profile image

Amar Doshi

7/10 starsCompleted
8 months, 3 weeks ago
One of the best courses - in any subject - I have taken. A voyage of exploration and discovery - and real workout for the 'little grey cells'!
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Claudio Felicioli profile image
Claudio Felicioli profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 58 reviews
  • 58 completed
1 year, 5 months ago
Very unconventional course: the focus is not put on any of the various mathematical ideas discussed, but is about the learning process itself and about the correct state of mind to keep. Several concepts are intriguing and useful: this course is valuable for a lifelong learner. The presentation sometimes is a little boring and slow: professor Starbird like to keep every student on-track. The puzzles are really fun.
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 profile image
 profile image

10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
1 year, 9 months ago
I wish all young people had a maths professor like Mr Starbird. He presents different subjects in a calm and friendly way, helps you think, guides you towards a solution while letting you do all the work. So you do have to use your brain. It was difficult for me, because I always looked at problems in the same way, from the same perspective over and over again. But since I finished the course, I retreat and try to understand simple things deeply (as we learned in this course), as well as use basic models in order to solve more difficult problems. You need to take your time for this course because if you're in a hurry, you'll miss all the good stuff.
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Sue Panahi profile image
Sue Panahi profile image

Sue Panahi

4/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 11 months ago
I was excited about taking this course. I seems the professors is quite knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject, however after going thru the first few modules and getting into the real material, it became difficult to get anything of value. The process of watching students working thru the problems and explaining without any visuals for us ( the online students to follow) or any solution to problems to check against our work makes the whole process worthless. This is a MOOC we need visuals instead of talking heads to get the material. I wish someone would take notice and revamp the material into a more MOOC friendly format. It is worth learning!!!! so sad..
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Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 1 month ago
This course was my first one on edX and it gave me the will to take others. Prof. Starbird is a great teacher and has a lot of humor. I appreciated working along with students in the videos (Scott, Marshall, Julie).
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student profile image
student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 8 months ago
One of the best courses I took online. The professor is very funny, he makes us think and makes mathematics accessible and easy to understand. Great course, I enjoyed it until the very last chapter and what I've learnt is helping me in every thing I do. I think differently and try to go deeper in understanding whatever I do at work or in my personal life. All of that because of mathematics !! I strongly advice to take this course.
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Jack Rogers profile image
Jack Rogers profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 14 reviews
  • 8 completed
2 years, 11 months ago
This math course is definitely for non-mathematicians, it was designed to empower students with confidence, and the professor accomplishes this with his extremely enthusiastic personality. The course is simple to follow and for the most part the lectures are concise, with a few exceptions. If you're looking for a fun math course, you will certainly enjoy this one...!!! This was my first Edx. course that I achieved a 100% overall score.
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student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 11 months ago
This a wonderful course. It is a great way to get introduced to effective thinking. Also the math is interesting it is not the point of the course. Also Prof. Starbird is a wonderful teacher.
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Ann Schmidt profile image
Ann Schmidt profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 25 reviews
  • 24 completed
2 years, 10 months ago
Fun course with puzzles to solve. It demonstrated well how math can be used to solve puzzles. Looked forward to each new lesson. Would recommend.
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Greg Hamel profile image
Greg Hamel profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 115 reviews
  • 106 completed
3 years, 1 month ago
Effective thinking though mathematics is a course about increasing your ability to tackle new problems and understanding things you already know better. The course focuses on 4 main elements of effective thinking: understanding simple things deeply, making mistakes, raising questions and following the flow of ideas. Although this course has “mathematics” in the title, it is really about the process of thinking—math is just a convenient arena to teach these methods. You don’t need any particular math background to take this course and get a lot out of it, although be aware that most of the 9 weekly lessons deal, at least in part, with mathematical concepts like numbers, infinity, dimensionality and geometry. The course format is a little different from most MOOCs: each week consists of a series of videos where the professor gives problems to students and the students attempt to work through them. The professor helps the students reaso... Effective thinking though mathematics is a course about increasing your ability to tackle new problems and understanding things you already know better. The course focuses on 4 main elements of effective thinking: understanding simple things deeply, making mistakes, raising questions and following the flow of ideas. Although this course has “mathematics” in the title, it is really about the process of thinking—math is just a convenient arena to teach these methods. You don’t need any particular math background to take this course and get a lot out of it, although be aware that most of the 9 weekly lessons deal, at least in part, with mathematical concepts like numbers, infinity, dimensionality and geometry. The course format is a little different from most MOOCs: each week consists of a series of videos where the professor gives problems to students and the students attempt to work through them. The professor helps the students reason though the problems by making suggestions and asking questions and he periodically addresses the viewer, explaining how the effective thinking methods were or should have been applied by the students. The nontraditional course format may be off-putting to some viewers, since the students spend quite a bit of time struggling with the problems, making little progress. I found it to be an interesting approach, although increasing the video speed is useful for times when things get too slow. This lighthearted course introduces some intriguing concepts and lays the foundation for approaching problems in a way that lets you gain new insights and deeper understanding. The main issue I had with the course that it did not provide enough challenging puzzles and homework problems for MOOC students to work on to apply the methods discussed in lecture. Everything felt a bit too easy. Despite that, this is a fun course that teaches methods that could be useful in almost any sphere of life and doesn't require a big time commitment.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
Definitely the best way was chosen for online teaching interacting with real students making their doubts clear, pointing out their level if understanding and encouraging them for atleast to do something or just start with something in a way that student thinks the problem should be solved.
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Miguel Vargas profile image
Miguel Vargas profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
3 years, 1 month ago
I have learnt a lot from this course. I really liked the way that Professor Starbird shows that nobody is a genius because everybody has the same capability as others. This course has change my life and I encourage to take it. Although there are some boring videos, everybody will learn that understanding simple things deeply, making mistakes, raising questions, and following the flow of ideas, he/she can change. I really thank Professor Starbir for everything because he change the way I look the world.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
I loved the course. This is my first course with EdX. It definitely showed me a different way of looking at the world and provided me with good tools to use in problem solving.
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student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
This has been a wonderful course. I have learned how to view and think about things in a new way. Before taking this course, I had not realized how little I had been using my brain. This course has relighted the passion for learning that the everyday rut of life had extinguished. Great Instructor and tools to help learn, both the idea of Effective Thinking and also Mathematics. The math of this course was both new or long forgotten. Thank You for this course and an awaking to more of life.
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student

1/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
Course consists of talking heads trying to solve math-like problems while the professor looks on gleefully. Extremely slow paced, very boring videos, I have learned nothing.
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