What mnemonics have helped you remember math concepts?

My answer to a question on Quora: What mnemonics have helped you remember math concepts?

I never used any kind of mnemonics in my life, neither as a learner nor as a teacher of mathematics.

If you need mnemonics “to remember mathematical concepts” than this is a sure sign that something is wrong with your learning of mathematics: mathematics is not for memorisation, mathematics is for understanding.

I developed a healthy disregard of mnemonics of any kind at age about 3 and 4, in the kindergarten, where my friend explained to me how to put boots on correct feet: “place boots on the floor so that they look at each other”. I did so, and it worked. Next day, however, I tried to recall: should the boots look at each other or other way round? My difficulties continued until a few days later I forgot to put socks on and tried to put boots on bare feet. It was a classical aha! moment, a revelation, an epiphany: a boot should match the shape of the foot!

In this little episode, “look at each other” is artificial mnemonics; “match the shape of the foot” is understanding.

I do not remember my kindergarten days well. I remember a superstition: do not step on cracks in the pavement. And the smell of burnt milk from the kitchen. And boots.