An exhortation to teachers regarding formal proofs

Formal proofs are hard, like many other things worth learning!
In this video, I talk through the difficulties of formal proofs of validity, and why it’s worth enduring the hardship to learn them.

YouTube version HERE.

2 thoughts on “An exhortation to teachers regarding formal proofs

  1. Thank you, Mr. Nance. Are formal proofs similar in difficulty to learning a new language? We are learning Latin, and a few months ago, no one in class would have recognized any words in Latin, but now after studying them over and over, we are beginning to read Latin paragraphs! Will we be able to “recognize” the rules of inference eventually, if we keep working on memorizing them? I hope so, because these are the words I have told my class! 🙂 Thank you for all your encouraging words – and your excellently formatted program. I love how you take us through such small steps to success.


  2. Comparing learning formal proofs to learning Latin makes sense to me. Especially since I often tell my students to “read the steps aloud” to try to “hear” which rule of inference they should use. If in a proof you need to get M, and you have S v M in step 4, and ~S in step 2, then when you read “S or M, not S” aloud, you just might hear the “M” conclusion that you need.

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