I'm not sure what place note taking has in a math classroom. The books that I spent more than $100 a piece on (way too much!) cover all the same content that my classmates' notes do. If I forget the definition of the Laplace Transform, then I don't need notes to look back on, I have a book. Failing that, I have Wikipedia, Wolfram's Math World, and Paul's Online Math Notes. If I need to have problem worked out, I have Khan Academy or any other of a variety of YouTube videos. My school, and I imagine every other school in the world, is packed with thousands of books, many of which are about differential equations. If I need help with Laplace Transforms, or any other topic in math, I have a plethora of sources to reference. Why then, on top of all that, should I take notes?

Further, I think taking notes in math class have negative consequences. Sometimes I look around and notice my classmates too absorbed in their note taking to actually be paying attention in class. The professor might add a bit of interesting information verbally, and my classmates are often too busy copying what's on the board to hear it. Also, there is the problem of divided attention: if your attention is being put into your notes, you are not working on comprehending the material. I assume that these students go back over their notes at a later time and try to make sense of the material then, but that has to be very tough when there is no professor to offer insights.

So why do so many students take notes? I suspect it's because of years of programming by high school and elementary school teachers. I also think it's because students have developed skills that are appropriate for other classes (note taking is very valuable in English or history class) and mistakenly believe that those good habits will translate to their math classes. I think all of this negatively impacts math students' education.