November 28, 2021, 06:36:31 AM
Forum Rules: Read This Before Posting


Topic: What should I memorize?  (Read 21707 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mike

  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1246
  • Mole Snacks: +121/-35
  • Gender: Male
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2006, 10:15:10 PM »
Jdurg: this is something that crops up often in my work. Teaching students to think analytically, or scientifically, or think like a scientist/chemist/physicist etc. These are seemingly the ulimate goal of a tertiary degree in chemistry/science. My question to you is: do you feel that you were taught explicitly to think analytically/scientifically from the beginning? or was it something that you learnt over time? did you specifically practice thinking analytically or were you learning this subconciously? and if so at what point did you realise that you were now an analytical thinker?

It is an interesting topic. It is easy for us to say, oh I am a scientist therefore I think analytically or have a deeper understanding of things, or I understand the scientific method, but if you were asked to define this skill very specifically in a way that could be then handed on to a student it becomes more difficult.

Anyway, I am not trying to stir people up I am genuinely interested in peoples opinions on this subject. And when you answer or leave your opinion, do as Jdurg has suggested, stop and think a bit more deeply about the problem/question as I have heard all of the "off the cuff" answers to this problem.

Cheers fellas :)
There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.

Offline jdurg

  • Banninator
  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1366
  • Mole Snacks: +106/-23
  • Gender: Male
  • I am NOT a freak.
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2006, 09:09:56 AM »
Jdurg: this is something that crops up often in my work. Teaching students to think analytically, or scientifically, or think like a scientist/chemist/physicist etc. These are seemingly the ulimate goal of a tertiary degree in chemistry/science. My question to you is: do you feel that you were taught explicitly to think analytically/scientifically from the beginning? or was it something that you learnt over time? did you specifically practice thinking analytically or were you learning this subconciously? and if so at what point did you realise that you were now an analytical thinker?

It is an interesting topic. It is easy for us to say, oh I am a scientist therefore I think analytically or have a deeper understanding of things, or I understand the scientific method, but if you were asked to define this skill very specifically in a way that could be then handed on to a student it becomes more difficult.

Anyway, I am not trying to stir people up I am genuinely interested in peoples opinions on this subject. And when you answer or leave your opinion, do as Jdurg has suggested, stop and think a bit more deeply about the problem/question as I have heard all of the "off the cuff" answers to this problem.

Cheers fellas :)
I think it's something that has always come naturally to me.  For as long as I could remember I tried to understand "why" something happened and not just "how".  I also had many teachers who would force me to analyze everything that I was doing.  Even if it was a simple question, they would ask me to explain why I came up with the answer.  If you can spout off an answer but not explain it, then you haven't learned anything.  If you can spout off an answer and also explain it then it shows that you have a deeper understanding and are thinking analytically.

A good example of this is asking someone what is table salt made of and why does it have that formula?  The simple response would just be "sodium chloride" or "NaCl".  However, that doesn't show a full understanding.  My teacher would then force us to explain why it's NaCl and not Na2Cl, or NaCl2, etc.  As a result, you'd have to think a bit more deeply about the answer.  You'd have to look at the sodium atom/ion and the chlorine atom/ion and investigate it a bit further.  You'd then see that sodium is in the first group, and chlorine is in the group directly to the left of the stable noble gases.  At this point, you'd see that if sodium gave up two electrons it would be to the left of the noble gases.  We all know that the noble gases don't react under typical conditions, so there must be something about them that makes them stable.  If sodium gives up one electron, then it will be similar to the noble gases and stable.  If chlorine takes an electron it will be similar to the noble gases and stable as well.  Therefore, to keep things stable sodium chloride would have to have a formula of NaCl.

It's that type of thinking and understanding which helps you excel in chemistry.
"A real fart is beefy, has a density greater than or equal to the air surrounding it, consists

Offline mrdeadman

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 262
  • Mole Snacks: +23/-39
  • I got a 5. Hooray!
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2006, 03:33:18 PM »
Hey i'm having a lot of trouble learning chemistry, i'm really just getting into it. can someone tell me what types of stuff i should have memorized and know fairly well to be able to understand the concepts? much appreciated.
rather than memorize things per-se, i would focus rather on learning the concepts and knowing how to do it. memorize the solubility rules.
AP Chemistry Squad Member [001]

Offline rctrackstar2007

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
  • Mole Snacks: +18/-40
  • Gender: Male
  • I need scoobie snacks and a 5 on the test!
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2006, 03:55:45 PM »
In reality, you don't need to memorize anything. Any formulas are generally given to you. You need to learn how to think and learn instead of memorize. Remember units if that helps and that will allow you to use the right numbers to cancel units to get the desired answer. You could also memorize the polyatomic ions but those you know by heart with time. Other than that just remember the THINK and work through a problem. If it's done in one step, it could be wrong.
AP Chemistry Squad Member [002]

The world is like an atom. The not-quite-as-intelligent people are the nucleus all packed together sharing a common...everything. We, we are the electrons. Granted we're not as smart as these engineers and what-not so we're most likely in the first orbital, but we're the electrons of this giant atom. We all have differing intelligences and ideas and we are separated from the nucleus which makes us better because no one really cares about how a nucleus acts. It's the electrons that make chemistry, except for nuclear chem, of course, which I am a big fan of.

-Your's truly, 2006;
  written to describe the HS chem student apart from the average being

Offline edimerz

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
  • Mole Snacks: +1/-6
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2006, 11:46:57 PM »
I am not a chemist! But, mostly a biologist (biology is a picture where physics and chemisty are its elements). I have learned that the best way to learn is :

1. The urge to learn
 2. Form a realistic, starting question in mind - like why is the sky blue (quoting Feynman)
  3. Try to 'find' the answer yourself (very important)
    4. If not yet got - then ask and listen critically
     5. There you begin .. at least you begin

Here, in this particular case I think we should (the experienced chemists) can put certain big headings: And then mention in the subheadings the important stuff to know about it.

Mikey

Offline Dan

  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4716
  • Mole Snacks: +467/-72
  • Gender: Male
  • Organic Chemist
    • My research
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2006, 09:10:48 PM »
The best way to learn Chemistry is to understand , not memorize.

Exactly. Memorizing will only get you so far.
My research: Google Scholar and Researchgate

Offline billnotgatez

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4263
  • Mole Snacks: +216/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2006, 10:14:33 PM »
When someone says to you what is table salt, you answer sodium chloride. Like it or not you memorized that piece of information. No where can you divine the answer by logical thinking. Of course and fortunately that knowledge is located in some reference that you can look up. Now, if you are taking a test and have a book that converts all common names to chemical names you can look up the answer. But, you are handicapped by taking an inordinate of time looking up every common name. So, if you memorize the most likely, you are more competitive. The trick is selecting which should be remembered.

When multiplying 10 times 10 we might use logic to derive the answer. But that still relies on memorization of the multiplication tables from 0 to 9. We could add 10 to 10 to 10 to 10 to 10 to 10 to 10 to 10 to 10 to 10 and avoid the memorization of the multiplication tables. I would personally run out of fingers and toes before I got the answer using addition. Again the trick is selecting what one should memorize. At one time, I took the time to memorize the squares of 1 through 25 so as to speed up calculations I needed to do. < tongue in cheek mode on>  Now, they allow the riff raff to use calculators. What is this world coming to. < tongue in cheek mode off>

There is a story that Einstein was asked his telephone number and he had to use the phone book to give the answer. When asked why he said he only memorized the important things. I hope he would have memorized 911 for emergencies. But, I would not bet my life on it.

The original poster has a reasonable request. Based on our experience which things do we memorize that made us more efficient and which things do we rely on logic to answer. Not one of you derives all answers solely on logic.



Offline mike

  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1246
  • Mole Snacks: +121/-35
  • Gender: Male
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2006, 01:18:04 AM »
billnotgatez: Thankyou! :)
There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.

Offline Donaldson Tan

  • Editor, New Asia Republic
  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3178
  • Mole Snacks: +261/-13
  • Gender: Male
    • New Asia Republic
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2006, 02:06:36 PM »
billnotgatez: Here's 2 scooby snacks for a fantastic insight into learning..
"Say you're in a [chemical] plant and there's a snake on the floor. What are you going to do? Call a consultant? Get a meeting together to talk about which color is the snake? Employees should do one thing: walk over there and you step on the friggin� snake." - Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of Glaxosmithkline, June 2006

Offline syko sykes

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 128
  • Mole Snacks: +12/-10
  • Gender: Male
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2006, 12:03:46 AM »
memorise trends on the periodic table. if you know all the periodic trends and why they hold true, you can couple that with a few equations and have a good start into understanding chemistry. Memorization can't replace logic here though, should only aid it.
AP Chemistry Squad Member [V]

Offline xiankai

  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 786
  • Mole Snacks: +77/-37
  • Gender: Male
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2006, 08:47:43 AM »
to quote James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), at an inaugural lecture given in King's College in 1860.

Quote
In this class, I hope you will learn not merely results, or formulae applicable to cases that may possiblt occur in our practice afterwards, but the principles on which those formulae depend, and without with the formulae are mere mental rubbish.
I know that the tendency of the human mind is to do anything rather than think. But mental labour is not thought, and those who have with labour acquired the habit of application, often find it easer to get up a formula than to master a principle.

From: The Man Who Changed Everything : The Life of James Clerk Maxwell (page 91) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/047086088X/102-6524231-0434536?v=glance&n=283155
one learns best by teaching

Offline mike

  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1246
  • Mole Snacks: +121/-35
  • Gender: Male
Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2006, 08:59:55 AM »
That is beautiful :'(
There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.

Sponsored Links