Noodling on Mathematics while I take a break from reading about the

*annihilator method of undetermined coefficients* (there's a mouthful - don't click the link if you're scared ;-)), I have come up with two most likely unoriginal theories:

**Sliding Window Memory**As one learns more advanced information regarding a particular topic, earlier, fundamental information on that topic is forgotten. Not completely, but recall is less likely or at least more error-prone. Knowing that, especially as I progress through mathematics education, I have a higher tendency to make sign and/or arithmetic errors, I think I have this to some degree. Watching the professor I have for this summer class, he has it as well. He's much more educated in mathematics, and makes more algebra mistakes than I do, providing evidence for my theory that some subject memory acts as a sliding window - the farther along one progresses, the more earlier stuff drops off the tail end. :-)

**F*cking Magic**I've always jokingly referred to mathematics techniques I don't understand as being

*FM*. As I learn more advanced techniques (and, from what I've seen, even what I'm learning now is hardly advanced by comparison to what's

*out there*), I have enough evidence in my opinion not to stop regarding such things as FM but rather to

*confirm them as such*. For example, not to bore or cause headaches with details, but the topic I'm currently reading for class seems to me to be just a way some folks in the 1800s or since developed to

*play with the numbers* to get a solution to some ugly calculus equations they couldn't work out otherwise. Yes, they follow mathematical

*rules*, but I think a lot of these techniques come from a lot of playing around, seeing what works, and developing

*tricks* (

*only be sure always to call it, please, "research"*[1]). Sure, it works. And I get it. But it's still FM.

Anyway, back to it...

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[1] - From the song

*Lobachevsky* by Tom Lehrer.