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Technical Report: UTEP-CS-15-83

Published in Journal of Innovative Technology and Education, 2016, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 9-12.


Probably the most cited lines from the poetry of the Nobel-prize winning Russian writer Boris Pasternak contain the observation that complex ideas are sometimes easier to understand than simpler ones. This is not just a paradoxical poetic statement: many teachers have observed the same seemingly counter-intuitive phenomenon. In this paper, we provide a possible explanation for this phenomenon, by showing that indeed, many easier-to-describe mathematical models lead to more-difficult-to-solve mathematical problems.

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