Intuition Versus Proof

Intuition Versus Proof
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2 MB|8 pages
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Recently, I watched The Man Who Knew Infinity, which is a 2015 British biographical drama film based on the 1991 book of the same name by Robert Kanigel. The two main characters of the story are Srinivasa Ramanujan, “a Mathematician Brilliant Beyond Comparison,” and the English mathematician G. H. Hardy. Their collaboration resulted in the creation of many amazing mathematical theorems.

One of the underlying themes of the story (in my opinion) involved Ramanujan’s intuitive ability to produce extraordinary mathematical theorems versus Hardy’s incessant demand that Ramanujan develop the corresponding proofs of these theorems so the rest of the mathematical world would accept them. In fact, that battle between these two mathematical giants inspired me to expand an activity (which I have used in my Calculus classes and Math Investigations classes for many years) for the TpT website.

Leson Plans and approriate answers are introduced at both the calculus and algebra II levels so that students can understand the need and value of proofs as well as intuition.


Total Pages
8 pages
Answer Key
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Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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