Today’s tutoring session centered around radicals and solving series of linear equations. From there we discussed:

1) The analogy between prime factorization and determining the mathematical elements involved in complicated problems, and how it’s analogous to understanding and working with the infinite complexity of life.

2) The power of Algebra that for some reason they sometimes don’t teach in math class (choosing which features of a complex equation to treat as “atomic” in order to simplify things), and how it’s analogous to understanding and working with the infinite complexity of life.

3) Developing the intuitive sense of how numbers change shape as you push and pull at them, and figuring out how you approach a problem productively …. and how it’s analogous to understanding and working with the infinite complexity of life.

Feeling quite inspired by this whole “prime factorization of crazily complicated problems” piece!

Oh yeah… and also we talked about WHY learning math can help you live a healthier, happier, and more productive life, and why it’s totally weird that it doesn’t get talked about in math classes!

And I learned from my student an awesome “prison break” analogy for simplifying radicals that I will never forget