May 14, 2012
From: Reddit AMA
Many students struggle with basic calculus. What is your advice to students who rely on programs like your Wolfram|Alpha engine to get themselves through math courses? Do you think it’s ethical for students to rely on such programs to pass their courses?
I’ve been using computers to do math for more than 30 years now. For me, the important thing is that by using computers I was always able to do many more examples… from which I could get an intuition about how the math should work out. And once one can guess from intuition how a problem should work out, it’s much easier to get the right answer when one does it by hand. Nowadays I find it pretty cool when I see people working out math by hand… it’s like “can humans really do that stuff?”