Learn to the problems, not to the tools

I really hated linear algebra until I discovered how useful it was for quantum computers, AI & video game graphics!

Fortunately, I’m going deep into the mechanics of quantum information in this post but I’d love to share something more interesting and perhaps concrete.

I always had this problem: I’m not interested in studying things when I don’t know why I’m learning them in the first place.

Elon Musk says “learn to the problems, not to the tools”

Let’s say you’re trying to teach people about how engines work. A more traditional approach would be saying, ‘we’re going to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches’ but that’s a very difficult way to do it.

Instead, Musk thinks it makes more sense to give students an engine and then work to disassemble it.

“How are we going to take it apart? You need a screwdriver. That’s what the screwdriver is for,” Musk explains. “And then a very important thing happens: The relevance of the tools becomes apparent.”

Students often face a motivation barrier, which results in mediocrity and lack of competence due to this gap between theoretical understanding and the real world.

School should inspire, not just educate.

This should be a must-do for all professors!

Please tell your student how they are going to use the tools you are giving them, inspire them, it’s your mission to create the next generation of mathematicians, physicists, and engineers!