When I was young, I did this thing called Silva Mind Control. It taught me meditation, and various other mental techniques that have come in handy throughout my life. One of the techniques that we learnt was for memorising lists of things – they called it “Memory Pegs” in Silva. It turns out that this technique is generally known as “The Major Mnemonic System” derived from a technique developed in the 1600s. I became more interested in mnemonics after the book “Moonwalking with Einstein” shot to fame, especially combined with all the studying I have been doing over the years which made me desperate for faster ways of remembering things. It made me dust off this technique and start to use it again.
I just watched a very interesting TED talk given by Kasper Bormans about his PhD research into using the Method of Loci (or Memory Palace technique) to help Alzheimer patients retain their memories of other people for longer.
OK, here is an idea I had this morning: It’s called “Mnemonic Tagging”. The idea is that you create a list of keywords (or tags) that you use to mentally file mnemonic visualizations. For each of these tags you imagine something that represents the tag, followed by a chain of mnemonics that relate to that tag.
I have been studying maths for quite a few years now, but I still find it a struggle to remember various formulas/equations, especially when starting a new topic. I’ve been thinking about developing my own mnemonic system for math symbols to help me memorize equations easily.
I would need to relate various mathematical operators to something else that is easy to visualize. The bracketing of expressions is problematic, you would need to have a way of visualizing a collection of things that the operator acts on.
I think that having a mnemonic system for maths would help internalize the ideas and models within a domain. It’s obviously still a work in progress!