6.S076 Street-Fighting Mathematics


Units: 3-0-3
Prerequisites: 18.01
Schedule: First Meeting on 4/1/14, 9:30-11 in  room 56-154
Instructor: Professor Sanjoy Mahajan (sanjoy@mit.edu), Professor Isaac Chuang (ichuang@mit.edu)
This course teaches the art of guessing results and solving problems
without a proof or exact calculation.  The art is built on six
reasoning tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, pictorial
reasoning, taking out the big part, and reasoning by analogy.
Applications include mental calculation, understanding drag without
differential equations, singing musical intervals to estimate
logarithms, approximating integrals, estimate population growth rates,
summing infinite series, and turning differential equations into
algebra.  No epsilons or deltas were harmed in making this course.

This course will be a blended class taught through the MITx platform online and with two in-class meetings: the initial meeting on 4/1/2014 and the final exam