### Thursday’s Big Idea

# Today's Big Idea: Deep Learning

Why do we spend so much time teaching a skill that is best left to computers even as we continue to get such dismal results?

Conrad Wolfram raises this question in reference to the teaching of computation by hand. U.S. students are dramatically underachieving in this key STEM subject. But let's stop all of the hand-wringing and focus on teaching a deeper understanding of math, Wolfram says. This type of earning involves key skills such as posing the right questions and turning real world problems into math formulations. That's what the computers can't do. That's what we need students to excel at, Wolfram says, if we hope to get ahead in "the computational knowledge economy" of the future.

In such an advanced economy, Wolfram argues, "high-level math is integral to what everyone does."